A MelanieM Review: Solitude by Anna Martin and Tia Fielding

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Rating:  4. 25 stars out of 5

Solitude coverGael Torres met Liam Barton when he costarred in an adult movie for Woodspring Manor Entertainment, the company that employed them as actors for their porn films.  Liam, also known as Lithium in the adult film industry, had just signed up with Woodspring although he was already a legend in the porn industry.  Gael, known as Gabriel Knightly, was already an established star at Woodspring for over 5 years.  In their first scene together, sparks flew, their attraction to each other igniting far past what the script and acting called for.

But obstacles were already in the way to any relationship between them.  Gael was living with John, known to his fans as Johnny Depth, and it was well known that  they were  a popular established couple and good for Woodspring’s image and advertising.  And Lithium?  The secrets he was hiding were huge, and one night he simply disappeared.  No note, no phone calls.  Gone.

Shocked, Gael waits as the rumors pile up, many saying that Lithium had died, a notion Gael couldn’t accept.  Determined to find Lithium and extract some answers, Gael still wasn’t prepared for what he finds when the missing Lithium is located.

Liam Barton has left his identity as Lithium behind when he fled LA for the ski slopes of Solitude Ski Resort in remote Utah.  Haunted by his past, burdened by circumstances he left behind in L.A., Liam craves the peace and isolated existence found in this small town.  The only thing he misses is the actor he thinks he can’t have, Gabriel Knightly.

When Gael arrives at Solitude to find Liam alive if not completely happy, the shock is almost overwhelming.  Gael is determined to get his answers and show Liam the depth of his feelings.  Liam has built a fortress to hide behind.  Can Gael break  down his walls so both men can find the love and relationship they have been dreaming about?  Or will Liam’s past destroy any chances they might have for a future together?

What a terrific love story!  Solitude by Anna Martin and Tia Fielding works on many levels, as a romance, a study of porn actors and their industry, and as a plot storyline that  relays the fact that even a HFN commitment takes work and compromises in the name of love.  All of these elements and more combine to bring a realistic and even handed look into an industry (and actors) that seldom are given such a non-judgmental point of view.  Love and romance are on display in this story in many forms, including the deep love and caring relationship of Gael’s parents,  great secondary characters whose loving relationship acts as a support and example for those who know them.

Authors Martin and Fielding use characters Liam Barton and Gael Torres to show the different facets to the people who act in porn film and the various types of adult film companies who produce the prodigious amounts of porn filmed each year.   It starts off with the company Woodspring Manor Entertainment, a firm whose owners like Preston, take care of their performers, from contracts to health insurance to housing.  Woodspring and its owners represent the  best of the adult film industry.  Among its established stars are Gael (Gabriel Knightly) and Johnny (Johnny Depth), a “couple” favored for their relationship as well as their gorgeous bodies and acting abilities.  Gael Torres is a porn star in the business because he loves sex and is good at it.  He comes from a loving and open minded family who only want their son to be happy and aren’t ashamed of his profession.

Gael Torres is that person you infrequently hear about…the well adjusted porn star.  That such a person exists is a certainty but one the media seldom  picks up on.  Gael is a marvelous character whose believable and appealing personality makes the story and romance. And he comes with one of the loveliest set of parents around, his Finnish mother Leena and Spanish father, Diego, secondary characters who light up the page whenever they make an appearance.

On the opposite side of spectrum of the actors in the adult film industry is Liam Barton, known as Lithium.  He represents those who comes from abusive backgrounds, men accompanied by their own painful set of circumstances, a reality of this world as well.  His background?  That of a ultra conservative Latter day Saints family he escaped from but barely.   The background created for him by the authors feels as complicated, haunted and real as Gael’s does open, happy, and accepting.  The pairing of these two dissimilar men helps to create the drama and believable relationship dynamics that the pair must work through. And all the adjustments and compromises they achieve makes their romance and love seem not only viable but heartwarming and real.

The narrative begins with Liam already in Solitude, Utah but then it switches back and forth between Gael and Liam, the past and the present.  The effect that changeover has upon the story can feel jumbled at times but the story is such a good one that an uneven narrative can be somewhat overlooked.   These are easy character to learn to care about and the other characters in their orbit are just as believable as they are.

I absolutely recommend Solitude by Anna Martin and Tia Fielding.  The romance is complicated and heartfelt, the characters believable and compelling, and the story plot marvelous all the way to the end.  And did I say it was sexy and hot too?  Well, it is!   Grab it up today and find out for yourself!

Cover Art by Reese Dante  is lovely even if it doesn’t exactly speak to the plot and characters.

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press eBook  Paperback      All Romance (ARe)       Amazon            Solitude

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published August 27th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1632161613 (ISBN13: 9781632161611)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.annamartin-fiction.com/#!coming-soon/ccbp

Barb, the Zany Old Lady, Review: Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

WolfinGucciLoafersLGSequel to “The Pack and the Panther”, this is Lindsey’s story. Lindsey—flamboyant, wealthy, half-human/half-wolf, destined to live his life without a partner because wolves don’t tolerate gay men or humans, and gay human men? Never. And forget having a human mate! Wolf code forbids him from ever revealing the existence of werewolves to humans. He would be put to death, and what they would do to the human would be beyond unthinkable.

When he smells a delicious and intoxicating human scent one night and follows its trail to the sexiest human he’s ever laid eyes on, he knows immediately that his wolf would want to dominate this man and that he can never allow that to happen. When he finally meets the guy, he finds out Seth Zabrowsky is a cop helping the FBI with the recent string of kidnappings of wealthy children, and he knows that he can’t ever have his heart’s desire. A cop would be so very, very bad.

When the governor’s daughter is kidnapped, Lindsey rushes to his friend’s aide. Lindsey Vanessen and his wealthy family have supported the governor financially, and Lindsey and the man have become friends. It was the governor who actually helped Lindsey and his best friend Cole get Cole’s husband back when he was kidnapped in “The Pack and the Panther”. What Lindsey doesn’t tell Seth and the FBI is that he recognizes the warehouse where the little girl is being held, and he takes it upon himself to rescue her, but he does it in his street vigilante, little-old-lady costume. Yes, Lindsey is known on the streets as the Granny, a woman who has thwarted rapists and unofficially helped the cops cut back on late night crime.

After the kidnapping, Seth seeks out Lindsey’s help to mingle with the wealthy set in the hopes that he can spot something that will lead him to the ringleader of the kidnappers. It’s during this time that he and Lindsey can no longer deny their attraction, and they seek a rough and tumble alpha fight for dominance in their sex. And, not too amazingly, they are both very happy with the fact that their very dominant natures have found a complementary partner. Of course, true love never runs smoothly and Seth finds out about Granny, insulting Lindsey and breaking it off with him before it goes any further. There’s more intrigue and angst along the way in this book, with the men getting together and breaking up a few times before a crazy kidnap and rescue scene that reveals Lindsey’s true form to Seth.

There’s a concurrent subplot about a young orphan who Lindsey immediately warms to and feels a bond with. The young boy is unaware that he’s a wolf about to undergo his first change, but thanks to Lindsey’s intervention, he’s accepted into Lindsey’s family and his pack in time to make a difference.

I really liked the push/pull of the guys’ relationship in this story, and both characters were well-developed and likeable. In fact, I really liked Lindsey in the first book and loved him even more in this one. There were some major holes in the mystery, principally surrounding a double kidnapping where one victim was rescued and failed to inquire about the other victim until the next day. Since they were on a date together when the kidnapping occurred, my expectation was that there would be some mention of the other man by the victim, the cops or someone. I can’t go into greater detail because it would be a major spoiler but that made this section seem off, and if the author’s intent was to direct our attention to the possible kidnapper through that awkward situation, it was overkill. It was already easy to figure out long before that.

Since the MCs do get their HEA, and a very nice one indeed, and I loved the MCs, the basic storyline, and the pace of the story, I’m happy to recommend this one to my m/m friends who are looking for a light mystery with some very hot characters who spend some very hot time between the sheets.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson.  it was hot and colorful and fit the story perfectly with it’s depiction of Jeremy in his flamboyant clothing as well as his wolf persona. 

Sales links:  Dreamspinner Press ebook  Audio Book    All Romance eBooks   Amazon ebook  Wolf in Gucci Loafers

Book Details:

book, 235 pages
Published April 16th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 15th 2014)
ISBN 1627984518 (ISBN13: 9781627984515)
edition languageEnglish
seriesTales of the Harker Pack #2

Series:  Tales of the Harker Pack:

The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack, #1
Wolf in Gucci Loafers (Tales of the Harker Pack #2)

 

On Tour with J.K. Hogan and Love and the Real Boy! (contest/author interview)

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HoganBanner300x250

 

Scattered Thoughts is happy to welcome J. K. Hogan here today to talk about her Coming About series and the latest story, Love and the Real Boy.  Along with an interview and except, there is a contest to enter as well.  Now lets get started…

STRW• I really enjoyed I Survived Seattle.  Love and the Real Boy is focused on a divisive character from the first story.  Did you always plan on his redemption being part of this series?

JK:  No, when I first created Rich, I didn’t expect that he would be anything other than an over-the-top antagonist. As I moving towards the end of I Survived Seattle, I started wondering what would cause him to act the way he did—and then he started speaking to me. I knew at that point his redemption would have to be a part of it, because no one would be able to get behind him as the hero in his own story if it wasn’t.

STRW• What is it about wounded characters that make them so appealing?

JK:  That’s a good question. Maybe the idea that someone who’s been kicked around by life, either physically or emotionally, can go on to have a fabulous HEA gives us all hope that it’s never too late or too hard to find our own.

STRW• Boats, sailboats especially, play a large part in this series.  Is that a major love of yours?

JK:  Yes and no. I grew up on a large lake (we always lived on the waterfront) and we were constantly going back and forth to the coast. My dad being a recreational fisherman, we always had motor boats. I learned how to drive a boat when I was just a little kid, and boats have always been as much a part of my life as cars. I’m very at home on the water.

Sailing on the other hand has always been a dream of mine. My family wasn’t really into sailing, although I saw it happening around me a lot living on the lake. The closest I ever got was tagging a ride on my parents’ windsurfer. I’ve been sailing several times, but just as a passenger. I’d really love to have my own sailboat someday.

STRW• Where did the inspiration come from for this series and its location?

JK:  Last year, right after Washington legalized gay marriage, we took a trip to Seattle to attend our friends’ wedding. We had so much fun and all kinds of crazy things happened. Most who know me know I struggle with severe anxiety, and one of my triggers is travel. I decided to explore that in I Survived Seattle, hence the title (I actually said those words to my friend Cardeno C. when I got back, and CC said it sounded like a great book title!). There were too many interesting characters to just stop at one book, so I just kept going!

STRW• Do you know how many books you have planned for this series or it is one that will develop along the way?

JK:  I have at least one more planned for sure, but who knows? Once I write that one, I might get inspiration for more!

STRW• Most favorite childhood story whose impact has stayed with you to this day?

JK:  Oh gosh, this is a hard one because I have an absurdly good memory when it comes to the past—though sometimes I can’t remember what I did yesterday. I guess in this context would say I remember playing with my dolls (probably way longer than I should’ve) by myself. I was perfectly happy sitting there for hours by myself, because I was simply using them as tools to create stories. I would write down what I now know as outlines for plots, character lists, and titles, and proceed to construct an elaborate tale until the whole thing crashed and burned because I ‘wrote’ myself into a corner. It wasn’t until I figured out how to get out of those corners that I was able to turn stories into books.

STRW• If you could live aboard a boat, what type of boat would it be?

JK:  Hmm, live? I’m all about the creature comforts, so I’d say either a houseboat, or a giant fancy motor-yacht like Nic has in I Survived Seattle.

STRW• Most romantic place to sail to.

JK:  Hubby and I took a sailing excursion in St. Thomas on a tiny 6-man sailboat. We tooled around the bay and then went snorkeling. It was pretty darn romantic. 😉

STRW• What is next for J. K. Hogan?

JK:  Well of course I’m working on book 3 in the Coming About series. I won’t say much about that one yet except we’ll get to see all our old friends from the first two books again in some capacity.

I’m also working on something a little different for me: it’s sort of an m/m romantic suspense crime thriller with a light paranormal element. I know it’s kind of a weird concept, there being varying degrees of paranormal, but since there are certain paranormal things that are commonly believed to exist in our real-life society—like psychics, ghosts, and such—it makes sense to me. So this story could probably be enjoyed by those who wouldn’t normally read paranormal. Keep an eye on my website http://www.jkhogan.com for more news.

 Thanks, JK, for the wonderful interview!  Now check out the book, blurb and excerpt below.  And don’t forget to enter the contest! Happy Reading.

Book Name: Love and the Real Boy (Coming About, Book 2)
Sequel to I Survived Seattle (Coming About, Book 1)
Publisher:  Wilde City PressHogan600x600Banner

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22756605-love-and-the-real-boy

Author Name: J.K. Hogan

Author Bio:

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit http://www.jkhogan.com.

Author Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJKHogan, https://twitter.com/JK_Hogan, http://www.pinterest.com/jkhoganbooks/, http://officialjkhogan.tumblr.com/

LATRB_JKHogan_CoverTitle:  Love and the Real Boy by J.K. Hogan
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: JK Hogan (KHDGraphics.com)

Sales Links:   Wilde City Press     Amazon

 

 Love and the Real Boy Blurb:

How­­ much heartache can one man take before he breaks? Rich Langston asks himself that question every day.

A Seattle advertising exec who uses his designer suit and showy car like a suit of armor, Rich refuses to let the world get to him. His traumatic childhood has ruined any faith he had in people, friendship, and love. After a meltdown that led to him alienating everyone in his life, Rich agrees to help with the restoration of an antique sailboat as a form of penance.

Roped into heading up with the boat repair by his mother, marine restorer Patrick O’Dowd finds himself having to babysit a moody, spoiled rich boy with absolutely no carpentry experience. His easy-going nature is sorely tested, but he quickly realizes that things are not always what they seem; sometimes a fancy suit is nothing but an elaborate deflection from what’s real.

Through unavoidable personality clashes and fierce attraction, both Rich and Patrick explore their hidden pain and inner demons, and they end up finding with what really matters—love.

 Love and the Real Boy Excerpt:

Rich forced himself to relax. Why shouldn’t he give his brain a little mini-vacay? He was of a stressful nature—he had to constantly stress over work, over making enough money to keep himself in suits and expensive toys to remind himself he wasn’t homeless anymore, that he wasn’t going to end up like his mother. He stressed over the wrong people finding out he was gay, while stressing that he might just go mad from lack of companionship—and that was just the tip of the crazy-berg.
Underneath it all sat his pent-up grief, anger, and guilt from his stolen childhood, cowering like a beast in the dark, a sleeping monster. That was Rich’s biggest, most constant fear—that one day he would no longer be able to contain it. What would happen then? Would he lose his mind?
So all things considered, why shouldn’t he just let it go for one night? What was wrong with letting a big, burly Irishman take him in hand—heh—and drive the boat for a while.

Categories per the author: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

HoganBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

9/17: Havan Fellows
9/18: Iyana Jenna, Cathy Brockman Romances
9/19: Amanda C. Stone
9/22: Andrew Q. Gordon, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
9/23: Prism Book Alliance,
9/24: Butterfly-O-Meter
9/25: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
9/26: Parker Williams
9/29: Cathy Brockman Romances, Nic Starr
9/30: My Fiction Nook
10/1: Romance the Night
10/2: Jade Crystal
10/3: The Hat Party
10/6: Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Regular Guys, Hot Romance
10/7: Love Bytes, Carly’s Book Reviews
10/8: Velvet Panic
10/9: Foxylutely Book Reviews
10/10: Multitasking Mommas
10/13: Queer Town Abbey
10/14: MM Good Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

Contest: Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Love and the Real Boy’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the link provided for the entry form and for additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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