Go Free Falling with S.E. Jakes! Guest Spotlight and Book Contest.

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have SE Jakes visiting today to talk about Free Falling, a story in the marvelously addicting Extreme Escapes universe series.FreeFalling_150x300

S.E. Jakes:
Thanks so much for having me here today, so I can shout about the fact that Free Falling’s getting a re-release with Riptide! I’m so excited about this, you have no idea. For me, this is the book that started the Hell or High Water series (see below for more on that).

Free Falling originally came out in December of 2012—it was the first book I self-published, and I worked with Sarah Frantz as my editor (and she’s now my Riptide editor as well) and the entire experience was simply awesome.

This would also be the second book Prophet inserted himself into (the first was Bound For Keeps). It was then I realized that the man needed his own series or else he would show up in every single book I wrote. But for Free Falling, it certainly cemented the bond between Blue and Prophet. I’ve brought Blue and Mick back in Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water 2) and yes, I’m totally planning a Free Falling sequel, which would happen sometime post Dirty Love (Dirty Deeds 3). Because I can’t get enough of Blue, my favorite thief, and Mick, the man who’ll chase him every single time.

The great thing about moving this book to Riptide is that now all my EE Ltd. books are in one place AND Free Falling will now be available everywhere in eFormat AND in print!!! The cover looks gorgeous in person.

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Contest:
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing to win one of three SIGNED copies of Hell or High Water series: Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on March 24th, and winners will be announced on March 25th.  Contest is valid worldwide.

About Free Falling:

Sometimes falling in love is the most dangerous thing of all.
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FreeFalling_500x750Blue is a thief who lives for adrenaline and danger. And when he meets Mick, a mercenary, he’s hit with a buzz of attraction like the rush of a high-rise job without a safety rope. But after making plans to get together, Mick leaves him hanging, and Blue vows never again.
A year later, Mick watches helplessly as Blue stumbles into the middle of one of Mick’s jobs. Risking his cover and their lives, Mick saves Blue and cares for him as he recuperates, but neither man has any idea how to handle the intimacy this forces them into.
Once Blue is safe, Mick redoubles his efforts to take down the drug lord responsible—and disappears. Blue goes after him, determined to return the favor and rescue the man he loves, no matter the cost.

This is a revised second edition of the originally self-published title. No substantive changes have been made to the story.
About SE Jakes:
SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life.
She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

Connect with SE Jakes:

Review: The Oracle’s Flame (The Oracle #1) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5 (rounded up to 4):

The Oracle's FlameThe Oracle has looked into the future and sees nothing but devastation and ruin after the King of Altnoia, along with his Queen and  Heir are killed, assassinated by his cousin who then assumes the throne.  Missing from the carnage is the rightful’s King’s young son, Prince Edan.  Missing or dead?  Only the Oracle knows the truth.  If the Kingdom and all who live there are to survive and thrive, then Prince Edan must be found and restored to the throne.

Dragon, the newly minted Dragon of Fire, has been chosen for the job.  He must find Prince Edan and then keep him alive, a desperate mission when the forces of the Usurper are scouring the Kingdom looking for the Prince as well.  But it’s Prince Edan’s secret location that upsets Dragon most of all.  Edan is hiding out on a pirate’s ship and the last place a fire loving dragon wants to be is on the high seas and seasick.

Not only seasick and sick of the water, no one will tell Dragon which pirate is the prince.  And not even the Oracle could have prepared Dragon for a pair of sexy twin pirates and the feelings they engender inside a lonely dragon.

New author, new series.  Both things make this reviewer extremely happy.  Add a dragon or two and things get just that much better.  The Oracle’s Flame, the first in The Oracle series, sets the foundation for this universe and the stories to come.  The story begins in the Monastery, built into and under the Sacred Mountain.  In this ancient building, more city than single structure, the Oracle and the Four Castes live and carry out the Oracle’s plans.

Mell Eight has created a wonderful, fascinating universe for this series.  The Oracle herself is thousands of years old, exchanging human bodies as is necessary but retaining the knowledge and feelings of all the Oracles inside.  At the moment, the Oracle is a young girl, the previous body/person having recently perished.  Into her personal chambers she calls for her new Dragon of Fire.  As Dragon proceeds down the hallways of the Monastery, he recalls the chain of events that made him the Dragon of Fire only three days prior.  Inside the Oracle’s chambers lie the testing room into which all the young are called to be tested.   When they leave it will be as a member of one of the Four Castes, Air, Water, Earth, and of course, Fire.  Each young person leaves changed in appearance and with a tattoo marking their new position and Caste on their backs.

For Dragon, his hair has turned cherry red, the color of flames.  And his eyes are the bluest of blues that you find in the hottest center of a candle’s fire.  All members of the Fire caste have red hair and blue eyes after testing.  But only one has the red dragon tattoo on his back, signaling his high position.  And only the Elder Flame is higher in the cast then the Dragon of Fire.  So many rich details….and the author continues to add continuously to the atmosphere and minutiae of the Monastery and the world created within to the reader’s delight.

But  Mell Eight has the dragon leaving this mesmerizing location for a mission he must succeed at otherwise the Kingdom of Altnoia will be lost. From deeply serious to highly humorous and back again, the narrative swings merrily as Dragon boards the pirate vessel in a most unusual manner, assuming a lower caste position to hide his true nature and lowly name to go along with it.  Quite naturally, a fire dragon will not be pleased to be surrounded by water, rained upon and or tossed about by waves.  And at all times, it is easy to remember that Dragon is also quite new as a Dragon of Fire and out on his own for the first time in his life.  It’s an all around precarious position for Dragon and the author makes the most of it here to our delight and sometimes consternation.

There are many other characters involved in this story, including a pair of brother pirates, twins Shev and Shov. Physically identical, they couldn’t be less alike in personality.  But both brothers are attracted to Dragon who is confused by his attraction to them both and unsure of what it all means.  There is a charming naivete and innocence to Dragon, one recognized by the brothers and other pirates aboard.  I enjoyed the fact that aspect of Dragon’s character was valued rather than exploited by those around him.  And that aura of innocence that surrounds Dragon makes the relationship that finally evolves between the three of them not only something the reader will be able to relate to but all aspects of their unusual relationship as well. That The Oracle’s Flame involves a m/m/m relationship as well as one that includes twincest feels as though it was meant to be instead of something kinky or misplaced.  It does occur towards the end of the story for those readers who find these elements not ones they normally read but the events that lead up to it feels natural and not strained by circumstances.

What will everyone find marvelous?  Oh, the wonder when an angry dragon takes flight!  Mell Eight makes us feel the fury and the beating wings, the fire as it explodes upon contact and the happiness of a dragon when a tiny flames dance in his hands.  During those moments, Dragon is so alive, so unbelievably real and magnificent that you wish dragons were as real as Dragon feels on the pages before you.  Of course, he felt that way too as he moaned with seasickness and shivered under the onslaught of a torrential rain, pitiful and endearing always.

Ultimately, it’s the characters that make a story or series.  In The Oracle’s Flame Mell Eight has provided us with many to love and wonder about.  I only wish that I had seen more of the fight to win the throne.  How satisfying that would have been.  But I was happy with this tale of love and adventure and thrilled with Dragon and his twins.  I think you will be too.

Cover art by London Burdon.  Minimal but it works for the story and as series branding.

The Oracle series includes:

The Oracle’s Flame, #1
The Oracle’s Hatchling, #2

Book Details:
Publisher’s Warning: Contains twincest and a threesome relationship
ebook, 18,700 words
The Oracle’s Flame at LT3 Press

Published November 20th 2013 by Less Than Three Press LLC (first published November 19th 2013)
original title The Oracle’s Flame
ISBN13 9781620042823
edition language English

Review: Higher Ground (Earthquake #1) by TA Webb

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Higher Ground coverCharlie Turner was just 19 when his father died, leaving a hole in the Turner family that was impossible to fill.  Yet Charlie tried, walking away from college, his boyfriend, and his dreams, everything that mattered to him in order to live at home and take care of his younger brother and mom. Now in his 30’s and with Turner & Sons Construction a success, Charlie has little else in his life beyond family and work, something his friends and mother are concerned about.

When his friend and co worker, Siggy, gets pulled away to work at Mountain Shadows, Charlie is left to meet with their newest client, an art gallery owner who wants to expand his space to include more art works.  The owner of the gallery, Amos Greene, is arrogant, cold, and somewhat smug, especially in his initial dealings with Charlie.  His treatment of Charlie borders on demeaning and rude but Charlie demands respect and professionalism  and gets it.  A standoff made tense by the fact that both men are attracted to each other.

But Charlie has more on his mind than a stuffy art gallery owner,  his younger brother is getting into trouble and his mom wants Charlie to reclaim his personal life by moving out into a house of his own at Shadow Mountain.  Getting a life is easier than it sounds and a demanding new client is the least of Charlie’s problems or so he thinks…..

Higher Ground, the first in TA Webb’s Earthquake (PF2014) series, is a wonder of a story.  Webb’s main character, Charlie Turner, has been through the emotional wringer, and the stress and responsibility he shouldered when his father died has not abated. Forced by circumstances to  be “the man of the family”, Charlie forfeited his teenage years and personal life to make sure his mother and younger brother were taken care of.  Managing his own personal pain, Charlie’s focus was on his mother and brother.  And while his mother has recovered, younger brother, Damon,  is swinging deeper out of control.  Only Charlie seems to be able to reach him.

I think one of the  finest aspects of this story is the brotherly dynamics playing out between Charlie and Damon.  The death of their father forced Charlie into his father’s role when his mother was emotionally and physically unable to parent him and Damon.  But now she has recovered enough to realize what that has done to her older son and is trying to make amends. Their mother wants to reclaim her role as parent/authority figure to Damon, and having Charlie leave the house will let her do that and give Charlie the independence he deserves.  But it may be too late for that and Webb makes us see just how fragile the bonds are between Charlie, his mother, and Damon.

And clearly, Webb understands the combustive nature of teenagers too.  It’s hard enough to be a teenager with hormones playing havoc with you at that age. But then to have that young boy deal with the loss of a beloved father in a car accident, the temporary loss of the support from his mother dealing with her own issues? Devastating especially as it comes with a change in his relationship with his older brother  which goes from adored sibling to someone now in an authority position. All this sends him reeling towards poor decisions and emotional turmoil that just gets worse with each new well meaning intervention.

All the characters, all their actions comes across as authentic and painfully realistic.  You will hurt for Damon as much as you do for Charlie.  This is a tough time for both of them and Damon isn’t, not unexpectedly, handling Charlie’s move well.  So many changes to the fundamental foundation of the Turner family, and the author makes us quake in anxiety and anticipation for the next event to impact them and the damage it will cause.

And on top of all this is a mixed up attraction between Charlie and Amos.  The author’s terrific character development of both men let the reader into the roller coaster of emotions their meeting/working relationship has generated.  Charlie, open and friendly, easy in his sexuality.  Amos, cold, calculating and rushing to judgement, all prickly and cultured.  Their clash instigates some white hot sex driven passion which is just as quickly dashed. Webb leads us through all the assumptions each man has made about each other and then onto the path of adjustments they start to make.  There is so much room for growth here, not only in their burgeoning relationship with each other but also with those other characters that surround them, including Amos’ relationship with Damon.

I have to keep double checking to see that this story is only 45 pages in length. It has the feel of a much longer, deeper story.  Webb gives us textured, real characters and a multi-layered plot that pulls us in and keeps us involved from start to finish. There are some deeply wounding events that occur here that ring with all the emotional truth and pain that close siblings can inflict on each other.   It leaves Charlie and the reader hurting and worried about what comes next.  I can’t wait for the next story in the series, Moving Earth (Earthquake #2).  TA Webb made me care about these people.  Now I need to know what happens next.  So will you.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Great covers for all the series and books,including Higher Ground.

Book Details:

ebook, 45 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by A Bear on Books

One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

 From the Pulp Friction Group: The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends. The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth. Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1) by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Where the Wind Blows: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

Author Spotlight: Meet Kerry Adrienne, Artist’s Touch Tour & Contest

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords welcomes Kerry Adrienne to the blog today to talk about her latest story, Artist’s Touch, first story in her new Guild series.  Kerry has brought with her a copy of her book, Beautiful One, to give away. To enter the contest, leave a comment below and an email address where you can be reached.  Contest ends 3/23.

Kerry Adrienne:Kerry Adrienne photo

My book, Artist’s Touch, is set in an art guild. I’ve always loved the different media in art—from oil painting to photography, sculpture to metalworking. Creating a guild for my characters gives me a world of techniques to research and explore. I’ve tried many of the things I write about and I love to create art, so the guild definitely was an extension of what I would love in my own life.

Artist’s Touch is the first book in the Guild series. The second book centers around a sculptor in the guild (Sculptor’s Desire) and the third is about a guitarist (Guitarist’s Wish).

I’m really enjoying writing this series—especially since the Guild is located in my favorite city in the world—New York City. I travel there several times a year and I love most everything about it. I’m trying to bring in little bits and pieces into the books I write in hopes that readers who haven’t been able to visit NYC will want to. I love the multicultural vibe and the fast-paced excitement of being around so many people.

Artist’s Touch by Kerry Adrienneartiststouch_cover
The Guild, book one
(Sculptor’s Desire and Guitarist’s Wish coming soon!)
ebook, 147 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Ellora’s Cave

ISBN 1419947621 (ISBN13: 9781419947629)

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Blurb:

Every starlet wants master painter Kenon Alavi to do her portrait…and more. But Kenon prefers firm to soft and sates his desires with the boyfriends of the women he paints, enjoying the diversity of many lovers but shunning any attachments.

Wallace Harte’s English degree isn’t helping him find a job and working at a bar is the closest he’s gotten to being the Second Coming of Faulkner. Something’s gotta give soon or he’ll be out on the street.

Kenon zeroes in on the bartender at an art exhibition, intending to add him to his long list of conquests, but Wally bolts, initiating a heated game of cat and mouse. Kenon delights in the game until he discovers what Wally is writing. Feeling betrayed, Kenon swears off all entanglements until he reads Wally’s story and discovers true love is sometimes between the pages and not the sheets.

Inside Scoop: This book contains hot, sexy scenes of M/M interaction of an artistic nature. Who knew having your portrait painted could be so hot?

A Romantica® gay erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

EXCERPT:
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
An Excerpt From: ARTIST’S TOUCH
Copyright © KERRY ADRIENNE, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc

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Another day, another drink for those who had dollars. Wally slipped the candied cherry into the Manhattan and handed the glass to the tall brunette leaning against the bar. With barely a nod, the woman slinked away as if on skates, joining one of the clusters of patrons waiting on Kenon Alavi’s arrival. The artist, notorious for being late, probably wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes at least. Light jazz floated through the air from the ensemble set up in the far corner and spots of colored lights beamed up the walls to the tall ceilings that arched over the studio space. This would make a great setting for a novel, Wally mused. Too bad he didn’t have the plot to go along with it. His creativity had hit an impasse as cliché as the proverbial brick wall.
“Martini. Wet and stirred, no olive, no twist.” The man put his hand on the bar and looked over his shoulder toward the gallery door. “I’m tired of waiting. Don’t care how special Alavi thinks he is, my time’s important too.” He tapped his fingers on the bar. “Annoying bastard. Wouldn’t be here if my wife wasn’t so keen on having him paint her.”
Wally pulled out the glass for the martini, not speaking to the customer. He’d been hired to make drinks, not socialize. The man was just complaining anyway. He wasn’t really expecting a conversation, especially from the bartender. Plus, tonight Wally had to remember all the different highbrow cocktails. He rarely served anything but beer and frozen drinks back at the Cellar Bar. He poured the vermouth into the sloped glass, then stirred the concoction. As long as Mr. Alavi paid his wage, who cared when he actually showed up? His gala, his schedule.
“Told her we could get a portrait done for a lot less but she insists on this guy.” The finger tapping grew more vigorous. “He’s refused her calls for two months now. Arrogant bastard.”
Wally nodded and set the drink in front of the man. Mr. Alavi sounded like a typical snobby artist. Big surprise. “Here you go, sir. Wet and stirred. No olive, no twist.”
“Top shelf?” the man asked, raising an eyebrow. He toyed with the rim of the glass, running his finger around it as if he was checking for chips.
“It’s all we serve,” Wally mumbled, wiping up a few drops of condensation from the top of the bar. Alavi’s guests were snobby too. “Only the best.” Bottles of fine alcohol that could pay off his student loans with cash left over for a few months of rent. He looked out over the room of people. Wealth and privilege as far as he could see, well, except for the musicians in the corner. He smiled. At least they were making a living off their art. One day he would too—if he could ever shed his writer’s block.
The man shrugged and tipped up the glass, finishing off the cocktail in one gulp. He held the glass to the light and examined it, then set it on the bar. “Good thing Alavi has an open bar at this reception. Otherwise, I’d leave right now, no matter what my wife said. I’ll take another, please. The same.” He resumed his tapping.
Wally took out a new glass and prepared the man’s drink. The jazz music was making him sleepy. He’d much prefer something a little more lively. Having spent the previous night out on the town dancing to a club beat didn’t help. But he couldn’t refuse the extra money this bartending gig would put in his pocket. He pushed the glass over to the man and tried not to yawn.
Silence hit the entire room at once, echoing off the vaulted ceiling in thick waves. Someone gasped, then the patrons broke into applause. Mr. Alavi had arrived. The large front doors banged closed and the music softened.
Drink forgotten, the man strode off to join the mass of bodies that now moved as one as they pushed toward the door where Mr. Alavi waited to be greeted. Wally squinted to see what the excitement was but the crowd blocked his sightline. He’d heard the artist put on quite the spectacle and with the number of people and amount of money spent on the reception tonight, he didn’t doubt it for a second.
The crowd parted like the Red Sea in front of Moses and a man walked toward the grand doors that led to the open studio in the back of the room.
Wally stared.
Mr. Alavi’s stopped to shake hands with a tall gentleman and then moved on through the crowd. Light glinted like a beacon off the silver brooch at his throat. Murmurs filled the room—whispers, really. Like a creature of the night, Mr. Alavi was dressed in black from head to toe with a few flashes of silver sparkle sprinkled here and there. God, why did all the handsome men have to be rich and unattainable? Alavi was probably straight too. Life was definitely not fair.
Wally reached for the two martini glasses and bumped one over. He caught the stem of the second one just as the glass bowl shattered against the bar. His heart pounded and blood rushed to his ears. When he looked up, Mr. Alavi was staring at him, looking him right in the eye with a piercing gaze and unreadable expression. Everyone in the room watched. Wally’s face flooded with heat and sweat trickled down the back of his tuxedo shirt. Fuck.
“Sorry,” he stammered to no one in particular.
Before anyone could respond, Mr. Alavi moved in his direction and Wally’s throat tightened. Would he fire him on the spot? He began picking up pieces of glass and dropping them into the bar wastebasket, avoiding Mr. Alavi’s approach. Way to go, Wally, blow your chance to earn some extra cash. The one glass probably cost more than the night’s wages.
He bent to drop a large piece of glass into the trashcan, still holding on to the marble bar with his free hand. He squeezed his eyes closed. He’d get through this. Bile rushed into his throat. Why did he always screw things up? He took a deep breath. What was the worst thing that could happen? He’d been fired before and for worse offences.
A warm hand covered his, sending a wave of fear up his arm. Wally stood, coming face-to-face with Mr. Alavi. Wally wanted to pull his hand away and run but fifty wealthy snobs would stop him before he made it to the front door and onto the New York streets. He was trapped.
“Everything okay?” Mr. Alavi asked, his voice as smooth and dark as his slick black satin shirt.
Wally met the man’s gaze—green eyes lined in kohl, set in warm skin that shimmered in the bar light. Black spiky hair dusted with glitter.
Mr. Alavi squeezed his hand and Wally shivered.
“I said, is everything okay?”
“Y-y-yes,” Wally stammered. Even from over the bar, he could tell that Mr. Alavi was tall, well over six feet. His shoulders broadened and then tapered to trim hips. Wally’s mouth filled with saliva. The man was hot. Even if he was about to fire him for breaking the barware.
Avoiding eye contact, Wally studied the black leather jacket Mr. Alavi wore. It was no rental but made to slip around his body like water, hugging the right places, with a few silver studs and spikes on one shoulder. Designer-made, no doubt. In place of a tie, he wore a silver serpent brooch pinned at the neck, its eyes made of tiny rubies and its forked tongue licking out.
Wally gulped and his already-warm face burned. The man must think he was an idiot, drooling and fumbling like a fool. The crowd had gone back to chattering and mumbling but a few people still glared toward the bar, probably annoyed that Wally had taken the artist’s attention away. Mr. Alavi lifted his hand and pulled Wally farther down the bar, away from the rest of the broken glass. The artist looked out at the crowd. Wally didn’t see the look he gave them but anyone staring suddenly turned away and ignored the scene at the bar. The man had the power, no question about it. This was his scene and his alone. Wally’s pulse quickened. At least he wouldn’t be totally humiliated by stares when Alavi fired him.
“What’s your name?” Alavi asked, squeezing Wally’s hand.
“W-w-wall…Wallace Harte, sir. I’m sorry I broke the glass.”
He brushed away Wally’s comment with his free hand. “Ah. An unusual name. Wally for short?”
Wally nodded and gulped down the panic in his throat.
“Call me Kenon,” the artist said, stretching out his name in a French-sounding accent. He ran his thumb over Wally’s knuckles in a slow circular motion and Wally closed his eyes.
The scant hairs on his arm stood erect and he hoped Kenon couldn’t feel how damp his palm was beneath his grasp or how his pulse beat a frantic escape rhythm. From the corner, the music started playing again and the low murmur of the crowd drowned the silence in his ears. Deep breath.
“Thank you, sir,” Wally said. He opened his eyes and met Kenon’s gaze. For a moment, he stared into Kenon’s green eyes, pausing to fully examine them. Enhanced with dark eyeliner, the artist’s eyes almost glowed with feral sparkle. Predatory. Waiting. Wally looked down, not daring to move his hand. Mr. Alavi must be quite the lady-killer. Who wouldn’t want to be with him?
“Time to open the show, Mr. Alavi,” a gallery aide said, sidling up to Kenon at the edge of the bar. “Everyone’s getting impatient.” Wally had seen the aides milling around, making sure things stayed perfect. It must cost a fortune to produce an event like this.
“This is my show. Let them wait,” Kenon growled and clamped down on Wally’s hand.
The aide looked at Wally and smirked. “I’m sure the bartender won’t mind talking to you after the show.” He emphasized the word “bartender” as if it were a dirty word.
Kenon snapped his head and turned to the man. “I said I’m busy.” This growl was louder and deeper and the aide’s eyes widened and his shoulders tensed.
“Yes, sir,” he said and backed away, hands up.
Wally began to shake. He tried to tell himself it was from the air-conditioning but he knew it was from a mixture of fear and longing to be near this mysterious man. The artist must always have a rapt audience. Despite his growling, everyone seemed to be taken in by his charm. Kenon milked Wally’s finger in a stroking rhythm and Wally clenched his thighs together, willing his dick to be still. Kenon was too close and it was a good thing the bar was between them or things could get embarrassing.
“Now,” Kenon said. He tugged Wally’s hand close to his chest, tightening his grip once again. “Lean in so I can whisper what I have to tell you. Privacy you know.” He smiled, a tight line of control.
Wally leaned toward Kenon, drawing in a deep breath of what was likely the most expensive cologne he’d ever smell, combined with a fresh scent that could have been makeup or fine-milled soap. Underlying everything was an all-male scent of danger combined with sex and power. The bar was cold against his chest but the man’s breath was hot in his ear. “Yes?” he asked, voice trembling. “I’m sorry I broke the glass.”
“I said I’m not worried about the glass.”
“What, then?” Wally squeaked out.
“Why are you shaking?” Kenon touched his nose to Wally’s earlobe and Wally tensed. “Am I too close?”
“I…I…don’t know,” Wally said, his breath stuttering in his throat. Why was he shaking? He’d not had a boyfriend in ages but had never responded to man’s presence so strongly and so urgently before. Especially a straight man. At least not while he was sober.
Kenon pressed closer and his warmth radiated over Wally’s neck and face. Wally stood statue-still under the assault of heat. “I want to see you after the show,” Kenon whispered. “Will you stay around? To…talk…”
Wally nodded. Was he in trouble?
“Goooood,” Kenon blew. “See you then.” His lips brushed Wally’s ear and then he nipped it gently, holding on to the lobe for a second before releasing it. Wally shuddered as heat jolted straight to his groin. Why was Kenon flirting? Wasn’t he straight? And why was he so close? Wally squirmed as his pants tightened and his dick disobeyed the order to stand down. The ruby eyes of the serpent brooch glinted as Kenon pulled away.
Viper.
Just as quickly as Kenon had latched on to Wally’s hand, he dropped it. Turning, he sauntered off as if he were strolling along a promenade without a care. The crowd, cued into his movement, followed him through the open doors to the main exhibit hall. Wally stared after him, watching the people meander into the larger room where Kenon’s latest paintings would be unveiled.
What had just happened? And why had he agreed to meet Kenon after the show? He knew better than to tempt fate with an employer, especially one he was so attracted to and who was so out of his league. He always screwed things up. He adjusted himself and sighed. What did he have to lose?
Add Artist’s Touch to your Goodreads’ shelf HERE.

Kerry Adrienne photoAbout the Author:
Kerry writes about love in its many forms, and enjoys exploring the dynamics of relationships and the quandaries people get themselves into. She lives in suburbia, but is making plans to escape to the ocean and NYC, as both places hold a piece of her heart.

You can connect with Kerry here:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

You can purchase Artist’s Touch here:
Ellora’s Cave

Contest:  Leave a comment and an email address to be entered to win a ebook copy (Kindle, PDF, or Nook) of Beautiful One by Kerry Adrienne.  See book details below.

Beautiful One coverBeautiful One (Available from Ellora’s Cave  )

Kallistos, a shy playwright, has been chosen to compete at the Great Dionysia festival in Athens. His plays are strong, but he faces Sophocles, the man who has won almost every contest. Kallistos, the beautiful one, has eschewed intimacy—yet the dark Alexios pierces his armor with philosophies he’s never considered, and he falls hard.

Alexios, a shepherd, aspires to be an actor in Athens. His trip plunges him into a plot of deceit and lies when Sophocles hires him to sabotage his competition. Sophocles promises money and a part on stage—but challenges Alexios’ beliefs and honour.

Though uncomfortable with the lies, Alexios woos Kallistos, finding himself deeply drawn to the man. As the performances near, Alexios must decide which he wants more—his lover, or his lifelong dream of fame and a career. While Kallistos faces issues of trust and forgiveness, and must ponder where life is truly lived—on stage or in reality.

Review: To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5) by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

To The Very Last InchJamie Sheridan was furious  when he found out that Professor Carson had “words” with his boyfriend Satish Malhotra, in effect warning him off any relationship with him. That lead to an ugly confrontation between them and a final break or so Jamie thought. But Satish thinks that there was something other than head games behind his encounter with the Professor, that maybe he and Jamie had misinterpreted Evander’s actions.   Satish realizes that the Professor gives Jamie something that Satish can’t, at least right now.  So Satish sets out to do what would have been recently unthinkable, he is going to try to salvage Jamie and Evander’s relationship, even if it means he loses out once and for all.

After a confrontation with his former lover and pupil, Professor Evander Carson realizes the extent of his miscalculations and misunderstanding of the past events in his and Jamie’s relationship.  And even though  the break up is tearing him apart, Evander is determined to stay away from Jamie, for Jamie’s sake.  Nothing prepares him for the sight of Satish at his door or for what Satish offers to him….a possible relationship with Jamie as well as Satish.

But will Jamie be able to trust Evander again? And will a renewed relationship between Jamie and his Professor leave Satish out in the cold?

To the Very Last Inch is a wonderful culmination to a hot, sexy and ultimately very sweet love story. Through five books, Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley have built a relationship between  three very different men.

The first character is the wounded James Sheridan, whose drug habits drove him into poor life choices, including whoring himself out for drugs and money. Only through submission can Jamie successfully control his anxiety and need to relapse into his drug habit.  The man who taught him control through his submission is the complex Professor Evander Carson.  Older, dominant, and in love with Jamie, Evander misunderstood several key elements in their relationship that caused the first break up and threatens to destroy any future they might have.  He is also unsure that a relationship with a man his age is something Jamie would want.  And finally, the last man to enter into the picture, Satish Malhotra.  Satish met Jamie during one of Jamie and Evander’s sexual games where he was an unwitting participant.  That initial encounter almost ruined any chances of any type of relationship between Jamie and Satish as Satish viewed the D/s roles with distain and no little anger over what he thought of as physical abuse of Jamie.  Three fascinating and complex men, all brought to life and made utterly relatable through four stories leading up to this….the conclusion of The Professor’s Rule and the resolution to all the issues raised in the preceding stories.

One of the aspects of this series I so appreciate is the ability of these authors to let the reader into the mindset of someone who lives or needs to live a D/s lifestyle, people like Jamie and Evander.  One, Evander Carson, a dominant or Master. The other, Jamie Sheridan, a submissive. As the authors show us, without that element in his life, Jamie becomes a very different person.  Being a submissive fills a hole in Jamie that nothing else can and without it Jamie feels incomplete.  As I said before, the character of Satish  Malhotra becomes that channel through which the reader can begin to understand what a D/s relationship can entail and what exactly how such a lifestyle can impact and benefit those that live it.  The whole bdsm aspect of this story is folded seamlessly into the narrative.  It is informative and it is certainly hot!

Belleau and Gormley force these men to face the misunderstandings and challenges that a realistic relationship between all three of them will offer. The manner in which Jamie, Satish and Evander work through their issues feel as real and authentic as all the other elements here.  Miscommunications arise, no matter the age of the person involved.  And events can be viewed through very different lenses, depending upon perspective and past histories.  All that and more is crammed into 56 pages and its wonderful.

Did I wish that we had  been given a little more of a glimpse into their lives down the road? Of course, but the little we did see was revealing and totally satisfying.  Kudos to the authors for such a wonderful series finale and for the men that we came to love through it all.

Cover art by LC Chase is perfect for this story and the entire series.

Book Details:

ebook, 56 pages
Published March 3rd 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 1st 2014)
original title To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #5)
ISBN13 9781626491281
edition language English

Book in The Professor’s Rule series.  It helps to read them in order to understand Jamie and all the relationships within.

Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #1) currently free where sold (Amazon, ARe)
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule, #2)
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #3)
Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule, #4)
To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #5)

Review: Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men (Isleshire Chronicles #1) by Susan Laine

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Rating: 3 stars (rounded up) out of 5

Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men coverObadai Bashim is walking through one of the city’s parks on his way to the solstice celebration when he hears someone calling him. That voice belongs to a young boy, clothes in tatters, who begs for his help.   Jules Sterling, a young engineering sage, has been on the run from The Theocracy’s assassin since his master was killed by the ripper who is now after him.

The political instability between the Five Kingdoms and the Divine Theocracy has always stayed far from County Isleshire where tolerance and freedom from religious persecution has been the norm.  But now the Theocracy has gotten bold under the complacency of the Five Kingdoms rulers and they threaten to overturn the years of acceptance and freedom to destroy all science in the name of their religious doctrine.

Jule’s Engineering Guild is the target of the Theocracy and the death of his master is just the beginning.  For Jules is hiding a larger secret, one that he must protect as well as finish the job that he and his master had been contracted for….repairing a broken  airship inn.  If Jules can’t make the repairs the entire airship will crash at the solstice celebrations, killing many.

Obadai has his own secrets, ones that could make him the object of one of the Theocracy’s hunts.  So will helping Jules finish his mission.  But Obadai’s sense of duty and the attraction he feels towards Jules makes Obadai agree to help.   With the ripper on their trail and an airship beginning to founder, Jules and Obadai face a multitude of obstacles before them.  But its the Solstice and magic is in the air and anything is possible under the stars.

After reading Susan Laine’s Acknowledgement page for this novel and learning that this has been a beloved project of hers for over 20 years, I really wanted to like this story, if for no other reason that to reward her diligence and creativity.  But unfortunately I have had to work hard to get past the narrative which is so dense, so jam packed as to be impenetrable.  You know the author is in trouble when this is the start of the story.  Look how quickly the action turns into a morass of descriptions:

 A small shape climbed out of the bushes, nothing more than a silhouette. “Please, don’t hurt me.” The tiny voice cracked. It was a masculine voice, but shaky, scared, and on the verge of tears.

“Who are you? Why were you following me?” Obadai asked just as the midnight bells rang in the Abbey’s clock tower, their deep, gloomy sound echoing throughout the fortress town of Dunbruth. Everyone knew that the chartered town’s name was old Scottish Gaelic. The founder of Larkhall—the old bailey and keep—Sir Ector Macaledon, had been of Scottish descent, a rogue who had been granted this faraway county to rule as an Earl. The initial town name had been longer, Dùnan Bruthach Súmaid, which meant “Small Fortress on a Steep Slope of Waves.” The current form had been abbreviated and twisted by time, wrongly, as it happened. It was supposed to mean “A Fort on Surf Mountain” since the hilltop castle stood on the summit of Surf Mountain—but because the word bruthach didn’t abbreviate correctly, the literal translation was “A Fortress on Pressure.” Considering the crazy times, it had begun to make insane sense. Of course, all that business with Sir Ector had happened seven hundred years ago and had no bearing on the events of tonight. The Dunbruth Clocktower chimed for midnight mere moments after the Abbey bells, more melodic and higher in pitch, like a cheerful echo to the prior darker rings.

.And that is only the beginning.  Each time a small step forward is made toward momentum in the plot, the author inability to restrain herself from giving the readers what is clearly 20 years of thoughts about her universe building steps in.  From that moment the plot is gone, smothered under endless details and nonsensical names.  It becomes almost impossible to concentrate on the characters because we see so little of them from page to page.  The action gets underway, the characters start making their way towards the airship.  All good, with some really terrific scenarios and ideas sketched out before us.   Then this happens.  Again, And again.  Here is  Obadia trying to explain to Jules how the Snow Maiden Bridge (a bridge they have to cross) got its name. Keep in mind that the killer is on their tracks, the airship is about to fall and they have just met.  See if you can follow it:

“No, I guess not,” Jules agreed slowly, wistfully. Then he studied Obadai with a curious frown. “I thought it was called Stone Maiden Bridge. Yet you call it Snow Maiden Bridge. Every time.”

Obadai chuckled. “Both are correct. It’s a matter of personal preference what to call that huge block of stone on the side of Surf Mountain, from where the lake waters spring and which vaguely resembles a gray-cloaked nun bent over in prayer. Sir Ector brought the myth of the Cailleach here with him from his native Scotland. It has become rooted here, part of the local folklore.” Jules’s eyes widened with bemusement. “What is a…Kai-luck…?” His voice rose at the end in a question, indicating his doubts about proper enunciation. “In Scottish mythology, Cailleach is the Crone Goddess and the Queen of Winter.” “Ah. The Snow Maiden.” Jules looked pleased at having figured it out. “Exactly.” Obadai was becoming quite fond of the sight of a smiling Jules. “Also known as the Storm Hag, Cailleach is a terrifying natural force. Wise but frightening, a blue-skinned figure wielding a freezing staff and clad in a gray shawl and cloak.” “Gray… Hmm. Stone Maiden?” Jules seemed pensive and intrigued. “Kind of. Cailleach reigns during the winter months. Then, during the vernal equinox, she is defeated by the radiance and warmth of St. Aestasia.”

Jules’s eyes shone with glee upon hearing a familiar name. “I know her! She’s the patron saint of the Virtue of Benevolence with Fervor.” “Yes. A pioneer in charitable works, she had a passion for kindness and doing good. Here, in County Isleshire, as the Sun Maiden, she embodies the victory of summer over winter, a lady of fire, light, and heat. At the equinox, St. Aestasia turns the Cailleach into stone, to be awakened again during the autumnal equinox.” Jules nodded, smiling. “Ah. Stone Maiden.” He got a faraway look in his dreamy eyes. “So many stories here, so much history and legend. Almost makes me forget the troubles we’re in. At least makes me hopeful of things to come.”

Do they now get underway?  No, they do not as pages of more description is to follow which does nothing to build any anticipation over the impending crash or suspense over the killer after them.  Long run on sentences in which Laine attempts to further describe universe she is building quickly impede her story. Instead of letting the information come out more naturally throughout the narrative, in small bits and segments, the rush to get everything she has created comes out as a gusher, washing characterization and plot out of its path.   Never has 76 pages felt so long. Plus, this the first book of a series, surely some of the information dump could have been left to succeeding stories.

There are some truly delightful elements here, ones that I expected from the author of Sparks & Drops.  Obadia is a type of plant mage (although he has another title which I won’t give away).  In his garden can be found Snapdragons. No, not our snapdragons but plants capable of snapping in two the hand that feeds them the fertilizer, a very funny and engaging idea (at least to this gardener’s mind).  And then there is a wow of a fight scene on the floating inn that is marvelous in combining action with other unexpected elements.  As I was reading it, I kept wondering why the rest of the book was so enervating. Here was the vivid descriptions, concise and exciting I had been waiting for.  Here the characters exploded into life along with the plot.  Too late, however, to save the story.

There is also a case of instant love and hot sex (yes, all in 3 hours of meeting each other,  with fights and killers).  In fact the whole time frame of the story is three hours. In another story that might have been a larger issue.  Not here where  so many others took precedent.

Why did the fight scene not save the book?  Because the author couldn’t let go, even then.  This is almost the end and Obadia introduces Jules to a man who will help them.

Quickly, Obadai expressed his opinion of the nobleman they had just met. “Yes, he can be trusted. Mr. Graham is a scientist himself. A dendrologist only, but still apparently on the Theocracy’s watch list. Residing in a manor house by the village of Sun Rock these days, the House Dikunu has a history of shielding sages and inventors from the clutches of those who oppose factual knowledge, scientific progress, or just freedom of choice. They’ve even waged a war or two for those ideals in the course of the past couple of centuries, and they have loyal soldiers at their beck and call. So yes, I do trust him.” Jules nodded, lifting his chin firmly.  “Then I shall trust him as well.”

Laine should have stopped at “yes, he can be trusted” but of course, she didn’t.  I should have stopped when I saw each chapter was  labeled thusly and didn’t.

“11:59 p.m., Newsday, 24th of Golden Peak, Year 2659 of Epoch of Pious Virtues”

You the reader now have the choice.  If everything you have read above is just the thing that tickles your fancy, then grab it up and settle down for several hours, no days, of reading.  If you are like me and found all that verbiage overwhelming, then I would skip it and read Susan Laine’s Sparks & Drops (The Wheel Mysteries, #1).  There be the magic not here in the Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men where it should be.

Cover artist is Paul Richmond who did his typcially wonderful job in conveying elements of the story on the cover.

Book Details:

ebook, 76 pages
Published January 29th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 28th 2014)
ISBN13 9781627983716
edition language English
series Isleshire Chronicles

Winner Announcement

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Congratulations to Emily.  Emily was chosen to receive a copy of E.E. Ottoman’s Song of the Spring Moon Waning. Song of the Spring Moon Waning cover  Thank you to all who left comments.  I hope you all will read this wonderful story.

As soon as more information is received about the sequels and the dates of their release, I will post that information here!

Again, my thanks to E.E. Ottoman and the Less Than Three Press for their participation and the giveaway copy of the book.

Snow Again and The Week Ahead in Reviews

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Snow again.  ‘Nuf said.

The Pulp Friction 2014 contest continues  until 3/21 for the $25 ARe gift card.  Visit wp.me/p220KL-28d with all the Pulp Friction authors to learn about this year’s characters and series. Then leave a  comment and email address to be entered into the draw. I am reviewing TA Webb’s story, Higher Ground, this week, the first in his series.  The 2nd story in Laura Harner’s series, Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire) has just released and promises to be a good one. Look for a review of that story in the coming weeks ahead.

This week SE Jakes and Kerry Adrienne are visiting on tour, bringing insights into their latest releases with them as well as contests to enter.  And books in all different stages in many series are reviewed this week. There is fantasy and contemporary romance with Oracle’s Flame by Mell Eight and The Artist’s Touch, both of which are the first books in new series by their authors.  Free Falling is from SE Jakes wonderful  Extreme Escapes Ltd series.  Higher Ground is TA Webb’s 1st story in his Pulp Friction 2014 series. And finally, To the Very Last Inch by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley finishes The Professor’s Rule series with a flourish.  Truly something for every one.

And later today I will be announcing the winner of the ebook Song from Spring Moon Waning from E.E. Ottoman’s contest.  All while resolutely ignoring any white stuff that may be falling outside the window.  Again ‘nuf said.

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Here is the week ahead:

  • Monday, March 17:     Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men by Susan Laine
    To the Very Last Inch by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley
  • Tuesday, March 18:    Author Spotlight: Kerry Adrienne ,Book Tour & Contest                                                                                                            ………………………………The Artist’s Touch by Kerry Adrienne
  • Wed., March 19:          Higher Ground (PF2104) by TA Webb
  • Thur., March 20:         Oracle’s Flame by Mell Eight
  • Friday, March 21:        Free Falling with SE Jakes Book Tour and Contest
  • Sat., March 22:             Free Falling by SE Jakes

Author Spotlight: Meet Liz Boreno, Angel’s Truth Author

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords is happy to welcome Liz Boreno, author of the Angel series, here to talk about heroes and her latest release Angel’s Truth (Angel,#2):

Angel's Hero coverAngel's Truth cover

Flawed Heroes


Remember the days when the knight in shining armor came galloping in on his white horse and saved the heroine from all that was wrong in her world? Sexy, right?

*Crickets*

Yeah. I don’t think so, either. But sexy or not, the trope doesn’t work for M/M romance. We’ve now got two heroes. Are they both supposed to be wealthy, funny, self-reliant, confident, chiseled, sensitive, yet macho? …I’m bored. Are you? Good. Let’s move on.
The question becomes why are we bored? I’ve heard many theories on the root of reader preferences, but I’ve always ascribed to the school of realism. Readers, and therefore writers, need to believe in their characters to invest the time with them. If we can’t see their humanity on the page, we’ll struggle to get lost in the world. So, how do we do this?

~ Think about the heroes you know in your real life, best friend, spouse. Are they flawless? No, likely not… even if they disagree. More likely, they have just the right characteristics – good and bad – to complement yours. So too is it with your characters. That means, if you have one hero with OCD who absolutely must control everything, his partner should probably be laid-back.

~ Every good quality has its drawback. Exploit both. Hero ambitious? He probably doesn’t have much time for his personal life or workout routine. Something has to be sacrificed.

~Most important, remember that what you see as a flaw might be someone else’s idea of perfection. Someone’s got to be buying all the white knights.

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.

Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.

Angel's Truth coverAngel’s Truth (Angel #2)
Angel Series
ebook, 64 pages
Published March 14th 2014 by Lazy Day
(first published March 10th 2014)

ISBN 1612581250 (ISBN13: 9781612581255)

Sequel to Angel’s Hero (Angel, #1)
!*Please Note: These Books Must Be Read In Order*

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Angel’s Truth Blurb: “Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
“Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words.
“Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition painted a mural of memories of their life together on his face.
“Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.”
So begins Angel’s Truth, the sequel to Angel’s Hero. Army Captain Jordan Collins arrives home, only to find the man responsible for his imprisonment, torture, and near-execution with his husband. Had his Angel moved on without him?
Aaron “Angel” Collins has driven his family and friends away in his quest to learn the truth of Jordan’s fate, leaving only Major General Troy Hart willing to help him. When Jordan miraculously returns, with a spirit more broken than his body, Aaron realizes Hart was really a liar with an agenda of his own. Aaron is unable to take time to heal his own emotional wounds, because he and Jordan learn Hart’s betrayal is even greater than they originally believed, threatening the entire nation. Now the reunited couple must race against time to keep a promise to Jordan’s savior and prevent Hart from bringing terrorism once again to American soil.

Bio: Liz Borino transcribes the world inside her head onto the page, and share it with the people who are stuck in the “real world” to makes their lives a little more interesting. Because in her world, heroes fall and stand up again with the help of their partners and friends. Liz’s world is littered with formidable obstacles, which her heroes overcome with a fire of courage and passion. The beauty of love between two men is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
 When not with her heroes, Liz enjoys exploring cities, working toward social justice, and editing for other authors. Liz is less than three months from obtaining her Masters’ degree in English and published nine books since 2010.

Author Links:

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Review: Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley

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Rating: 4. 5 stars out of 5

Every Inch of the Way coverOne email has brought the mysterious Professor Carson back into his former student’s life and the consequences for Jamie Sheridan has just added to the confusion and unhappiness that is his life.  Jamie has two men in his life and needs very different things from each of them.  And neither of them appear to want to share Jamie with the other. Or if one is willing to do so, it must be on his terms…as always.

Satish Malhotra is crazy for Jamie Sheridan.  Jamie is sweet and intelligent and gorgeous.  But the welts on Jamie’s back and the reappearance of Jamie’s former Professor has forced Satish to make a decision as to whether he can keep Jamie in his life.  He doesn’t understand what drives Jamie’s submission and he is not sure that he can fulfill all of Jamie’s needs.

With the Professor and Satish vying for Jamie’s affections and attention, Jamie is divided between his need for love and his need for submission.  Will Jamie have to choose or will Satish make the choice for him?

Every Inch of the Way is the penultimate story in The Professor’s Rule series that has followed the story of Jamie  Sheridan and his Professor Evander Carson through college and graduation.  A test message reunited Jamie Sheridan with Professor Carson after several years break.  Old games that the Professor had introduced prior in their relationship instigated a meeting and hot sexual encounter with clothier Satish Malhotra.  But Satish’s discovery of Professor Carson and his connection to Jamie served to demolish the fragile feelings that had been developing between the two of them.

Every Inch of the Way focuses on the emotions and feelings of Satish and Jamie as they try to pick up the threads of their relationship and see if a future is going to be possible between them.  Belleau and Gormley have done a terrific job in conveying the emotional minefield that was the result of events in Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) for each man.  Both Satish and Jamie are coming from very different perspectives.  Satish’s idea of a sexual and emotionally satisfying romance does not extend to bdsm and a Dom/sub relationship.  Satish doesn’t understand it no matter how hard he tries.  Jamie, on the other hand, has certain needs that can only be fulfilled through his submission and the games involved in  a D/s partnership.  Normally,  they would part and go their separate ways and that, as they say, would be that.

But Satish and Jamie have an emotional connection that neither man is willing to give up.   And these authors make us not only see that connection but make it come alive for the reader to the point that we want these characters to find a way to make it work…even if we don’t understand it ourselves.

I have always believed that having a bdsm element in a story requires an extra effort from the author, in this case two authors, to help the reader understand what defines a bdsm lifestyle and also help provide an explanation as to why a particular character(s) need to have it in their lives.  The Professor’s Rule series allows the reader to achieve a certain understanding of that choice through Jamie Sheridan and the emotional journey he makes throughout the series.  The authors have constructed a history for Jamie (his drug use and more) that allows the reader access to his emotional state and the reasons why his submission and his need for a Master is so important to him.  And it delivers also in making Jamie’s Master, Professor Carson, more accessible by finally giving us his point of view about his own feelings as well as emotions about Jamie and their complicated relationship.  Although that does not fully spring to light until the final story, To The Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5).

In addition to these very complex men, authors Belleau and Gormley deliver Satish Malhotra, a character who might very well stand in for most readers because of the manner in which he views Jamie’s relationship with  his Professor and his lack of understanding of Jamie’s need for submission.  By giving the readers a character most can identify with, it then helps to bring the reader along with Satish  as he slowly starts to understand Jamie, the Professor, and the layers that a relationship with Jamie holds.  It feels utterly authentic to watch Satish wrestle with his emotions and thoughts as he juggles his affection and physical attraction towards Jamie with his rejection of what he initially sees as physical abuse, the welts on Jamie’s back raising Satish’s objections and vague disgust to go along with his concern.

And all this takes place in 42 pages.  Yes, there are 3 books that precede this one but I think you can read this story and still gather enough information about the events prior to understand and appreciate this story.  Does it help to have read them? Yes, but not definitively so.   Every Inch of the Way ends a bit unresolved so you will want to go quickly on to the next story.

The final story in the series is already out, To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5).   Follow me there to see how it all shakes out.  For those of you new to this series, decide for yourself whether to start at the beginning or continue on from here.  Either way, this is a delicious series, full of well written characters, sexy hot scenes and a fast paced narrative that moves all the events along concisely.  They come complete with covers guaranteed to draw you in!  Enjoy.

Book Details:

ebook, 42 pages
Published March 3rd 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 1st 2014)
original title Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule, #4)
ISBN13 9781626491274
edition language English
Book in The Professor’s Rule series.  It helps to read them in order to understand Jamie and all the relationships within.
Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #1) currently free where sold (Amazon, ARe)
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule, #2)
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #3)
Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule, #4)
To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #5)