Barb, the Zany Old Lady, Review: A Rose By Any Other Name (Fallen Rose #2) by Charlie Cochet

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A Rose by Any Other NameJourney back into the Roaring 20’s, the days of Prohibition, where illicit gaming, illicit alcohol, and illicit sex can be had for the right price. And the right price gets you into the Pantheon, a heavenly operation full of scantily clad young men who are yours if you have the cash. The sweetest prize of all is Eros, a blond angel, complete with wings, who will take your breath away. Usually seen in the company of his best friends and fellow angels, Himerus and Pothos, one look at Eros destroys all of Edwards’s brain cells.

Edward Joseph Clarence Junior is celebrating his 30th birthday. His cousins, Maxfield and Albert, have brought him to this slice of heaven, and Maxfield has arranged some very interesting private entertainment for him. He submits, despite his better judgment, but what he wants most of all is to meet Eros. Unfortunately, Eros has been booked for the night by Ares, an evil-looking, powerful and influential man who will use brute force if necessary to get his way.

Eros is Julius, the young male prostitute we met in Roses in the Devil’s Garden. It was Julius, along with his best friends, Lawry and Terry, who escaped the raid the night he met Harlan. Lawry and Terry have come with him to the Pantheon and now play the roles of Himerus and Pothos.

We learn that Ares wants all of Eros, not just for sex, but to own him heart and soul, but Julius won’t succumb to him. In fact, Julius has rules in place that normally keep him protected from allowing men to think they have his heart when they pay for his body. He never sees a man for more than three days in a row, and he never kisses, under any circumstances. Ares intends to break those rules and break Eros’s stubbornness with them.

Edward returns again and again, hoping to gain an audience with Eros, and when he finally does, Eros/Julius is less than impressed with him. But Edward is nothing if not persistent, and he bombards Julius with kindness, buying his time for a three week period in which he doesn’t make one sexual overture, even though he’d like nothing better. The result of getting to know each other during this time is that Julius does start to care for Edward, and Edward falls head-over-heels in love with Julius. The kissing rule goes out the window, and the two make plans to go away together for a while so that they can avoid Ares’s hold on Julius.

But Ares learns of their plans and destroys the little happiness they’ve gained when he arranges for Edward to be committed to Bellevue Hospital, arranging a bogus diagnosis with Edward’s psychologist. Edward had suffered from anxiety disorder after his time serving in the ambulance corps in Europe, and though he’s been free of issues recently, Ares convinces Edward’s father that he needs to be committed then he moves in to grab Julius and keep him in the Pantheon until he’s finally willing to beg for all Ares can give him.

And this is just the beginning! There’s so much more to this story. There’s romance on multiple fronts as Julius’s friends find love and affection with Edward’s cousins, some more easily than others. Harlan and Nathan become involved when Maxfield and Lawry find evidence supporting Ares’s true identity as a crime syndicate boss. There’s adventure and intrigue and catastrophe when the entire mess comes to a head, and it looks like Edward and Julius may never get to be together. But, of course, Charlie Cochet does not let us down, giving us a HEA for the guys—all of the guys, in fact.

So what did I love in this story? I loved the characters. Julius, Lawry, Terry, Albert, Maxfield, Edward, Nathan and Harlan. Each one of them now has a place in my heart, and I’m so glad the author gave us the side stories of the secondary characters’ romances. I enjoyed the big screen production feel of the Pantheon stage settings—I swear I could hear the music playing in the background. Oh, and one more thing—the author gave us a little peek into a time when Edward met a fella named Jacky, before Jacky joined the French Foreign Legion (The Auspicious Troubles of Chance). Such a nice surprise! Thanks, Charlie!

What didn’t I like? There were a few places where I was lost in the dialogue, places where I couldn’t tell who was speaking. There were also a few segments in which one character referenced something as if it had just happened, and I couldn’t follow what they were talking about. And last, I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the way the final catastrophic event unfolded. Without giving away any spoilers, I can only say that the setting where Edward and Julius met up shouldn’t have still been standing at that point in time. I know that sounds odd, but I really don’t want to give away the concluding drama.

So all that being said, I’ve given this story 4.5 stars. It’s so lovely, complex, intriguing and fun, with wonderful, handsome, warm-hearted characters that I can’t possibly give it any less. If you love historical fiction, then by all mean buy this, and if you simply love an adventure with romance and intrigue, then don’t hesitate—you can’t go wrong.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson— captures the feel of the time period and depicts the MCs perfectly.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner eBook Paperback     All Romance (ARe)   Amazon   A Rose By Any Other Name

Book Details:

ebook, 270 pages
Published September 12th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1632160307 (ISBN13: 9781632160300)
edition languageEnglish
seriesFallen Rose

A Whistle Stop Tour for Lisa Henry’s Sweetwater (contest)

Standard

Sweetwater_TourBanner

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

 

Hi! I’m Lisa Henry, author of Sweetwater! I’m touring the web talking about my inspiration, my writing process, and giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Sweetwater. And of course there’s a giveaway! You could win a title from my back catalogue, as well as a $20 Riptide gift voucher!  And you can follow along at every stop on the tour schedule!

About SweetwaterSweetwater cover

Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not what shames him the most. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. And Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push or mistreat the young man.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

About the Author

Sweetwater_150x300Lisa 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 her website, at Goodreads, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Contest:  Thanks for following the tour! To celebrate the release, I’m giving away an ebook from my back catalogue, as well as a $20 Riptide gift voucher. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for me 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 I won’t be able to see it otherwise! On October 8, I’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 the prize!

In the Spotlight: Lee Brazil~Master of Regency Romance (Tour and Contest)

Standard

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

BrazilBanner300x250

I am happy to welcome Lee Brazil, a favorite author here, to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words!  Lee is going to settle into our author interview chair, answer some questions and talk about all the books we’re focused on today!  There are three blurbs and excerpts to read and a contest to enter.  Make sure you check them all out!  Now on to our interview.

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

 

My Interview with Lee Brazil…

Lee, how do you keep the writing process fresh as prolific as you are as an author?

I think that’s a really tough question to start out with. The key I believe is to keep seeking new experiences in the real world. Walk, read, browse life. When writing doesn’t excite me, it drags. It’s slow going and feels like pulling teeth to get a sentence down. For me, that is when I know its time to pack up the backpack and get out of the office. I’ll go up to the park to hike, or down to the river to walk, or even off to the hardware store.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is knowing that whatever happens, whatever awful things the characters do to one another, they’re going to end up okay. Every day terrible things happen in our world, and we can only sit back and watch or read them and shake our heads and hurt for those involved. But in the pages of a book, the words of a story you’re writing, you can be assured that everything is going to be all right. Real life doesn’t guarantee happy endings, my kind of fiction does.

What dreams have you been able to live out (if any) through your stories?

LOL. Well, you’re full of the tough questions today. I think I actually live my ultimate fiction every day – my theme is love, and I was fortunate enough at thirty to meet a wonderful man and fall in love. That’s the story I try to tell in all my novellas. I’ve been able to explore things like crime solving with Pulp Friction that sort of fulfill a childhood fantasy. Hm… Scooby Doo and The Hardy Boys have to take credit for that little fantasy- growing up on mysteries obviously had some impact. I never would have read Dashiell Hammett et al if it weren’t for Saturday television. Um… Did I answer that question?

Chance or Cannon? Rory or Finn? Which would you choose?

Finn. Uncovering the complexities of a man who at first seems to have his whole life together, a man who is captain of his own ship and comfortable with the role? Oh yes, it’s been fun trying to get into his head and tear him apart.

If you have written stories all your life (as many writers have), what is the biggest change you’ve  have seen over time?

I have written stories all my life, and poetry. I think I’ve become less literary, more focussed in my writing. Before I wanted to tackle everything, explore the whole tangle of emotions and ideas that jangled in my head. Life and experience have taught me that you can only deal effectively if you narrow your focus. For me, that focus is love and romance and their role in our lives.

Do you have a favorite Muse? Or many?

I consider Havan Fellows my Muse. Why? Because since we met she has been there, reading what I write, encouraging me, helping me find direction when I lose creativity. When she tells me something I wrote is good, I can believe her, and when she tells me its off, I know she’s being honest and that what I write will be better for her input. Occasionally I’ll find a picture or a phrase that inspires me to an idea, or a story. I do my best work when Havan and I sprint and share. It’s incredible to me how that connection works, but nevertheless, it does.

What book is a comfort read for you?

When I need a comfort read I have a shelf of books that I go for – it holds all sorts of things, some John Sandford novels, a few The Cat Who books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, some Larry Niven, some high fantasy from the 80’s – Dragon Lance sort of things. Tolkien, John Jakes, Taylor Caldwell’s Captains and Kings.

On my kindle, I have a slew of m/m. If I reach for it, I’ll often find myself re-reading things like Amy Lane’s Chase in Shadow or Litha’s Constant Whim, and Ally Blue’s Love Like Ghosts.

Thanks, Lee.  This has been great.  I always learn something new each time you stop on by!  Now on to Lee’s stories.

 

Book Names:
Less Than All,
A Gentleman Never Does,
Randall’s RomanceBrazil600x600Banner

Author Name: Lee Brazil

Author Bio:

Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.

Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.

Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?

Then turn the page and see… there you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.

I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now, it’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.

If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and that’s the best thing in the world to be if you ask me, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.

 If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.

Author Contact:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lee.brazil
Twitter: @leebrazil
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/crawlinbedwithlee/
Publishers: Lime Time Press, Breathless Press, Evernight Publishing
Cover Artist: Various
Blurbs/Excerpts/Sales Links:

Less Than All Blurb:Less-Than-All200x300

Nicholas Danville doesn’t trust his lover to share the depth of his attraction.
He knows full well Victor must marry to fulfill his duty to his aristocratic family.
Assuredly marriage will mean the end of their liaison.

A youthful indiscretion leads to a humiliating encounter between Nicholas Danville and Lord Victor Ware. Nicholas is sent home in disgrace, and Victor continues life in the Ton. Years later, Nicholas’s reproving parents send him to town to attain a degree of polish before he prepares for life as a member of the clergy.

A chance encounter with an old friend leads to a new confrontation between Nicholas and Victor. This time, the attraction between them burns brighter, Nicholas is old enough to know his own mind, and Victor is done with self-denial.

From ballrooms to gardens and opera houses, Victor sets about proving that a passionate liaison between two men is possible even under the narrow gaze of the Ton

Less Than All excerpt:

Peter had evidently taken the time to pull his glossy Hessians back on because Victor had swallowed half the glass before he heard the door click behind him. Lifting the glass to study the amber liquid in the firelight, he spoke without turning around.

“I pay you an adequate allowance to cover your own establishment Peter, exactly because I do not wish to find hordes of drunken revelers have invaded my home.”

“I’m glad for Peter’s sake that you’re a generous man, My Lord Ware. But I’d hardly call our little gathering a horde.”
Victor whirled about to find Danville lounging in altogether too close a proximity. A single lingering glance impressed upon Victor the slender lithe frame, lovingly outlined by tight buff colored breeches, fine white linen shirt open at the neck. Both his discreetly embroidered waistcoat and his black tailcoat hung open. Danville’s inappropriate dishabille enticed him as the devil tempted sinners. He held up a hand as though to ward off the smaller man, but Danville stepped impossibly closer, and Victor groaned as his blood thrummed and his head swam.

Strong arms wrapped around his neck, tugging his head down, and soft wet lips pressed lightly against his mouth. “I’ve waited years for this moment, Ware.”

Then Victor gave up listening, gave up fighting the response of his body as an agile tongue probed the seam of his lips, seeking entrance. He accepted Nicky’s kiss, opened his mouth to suck at the questing tongue. He chased Nicky’s tongue for what seemed like ages, his body hardening and heating with lust.

His arms closed around Nicky’s slender waist, hauling the man close so he could seek solace for the ache of his prick in grinding against the silk of Nicky’s evening breeches. The shattering of his whiskey glass on the hearth broke the mood, and Nicky pulled away, retreating to the door.

“I’m going now.” He paused, hand on the doorknob. A strangely earnest expression crossed his face as he tilted his head to glance back at the stunned Victor. “Shall I return? Or do you forbid Peter’s friends the run of your home?”

He slipped from the room while Victor struggled to frame a coherent response.

A Gentleman Never Does Blurbagentlemanneverdoes200x300

Short of funds, Gareth proposes to wager for love. Does Gideon dare play out this hand?

Gideon Westwood is passing time at a debutante ball when he encounters a man from his past he’d give anything to avoid.
Unfortunately for him, Gareth Belmain isn’t in the mood to be pushed aside.

A wager leads to a walk in the garden and a kiss to angry words.

Will a public challenge put an end to any hope they might have for a future together?

A Gentleman Never Does Excerpt:

“If you’re short of funds, I don’t wish to gamble with you for money.”

Gareth smirked, painted lips twisting. “Such an honorable man you are. Fine then, if we shall not play for money, then we play for love.”

A chill washed over Gideon. He shifted on the delicate chair, fearing it might splinter if he abused it too much. “For love?”
Gareth whispered, “You were used to love me dearly. We could play for that.” Gideon’s dismay must have shown on his face, and again he cursed his inability to master the stoic boredom society expected of its young men and women.

“Or maybe not. What stakes would you care to play for, my Corinthian friend?”

The sardonic emphasis on Corinthian hurt a bit, as he had no doubt that Gareth intended it to. It angered Gideon that Gareth held such power over him still, to arouse his emotions, his body this way. Instead of answering the question Gareth had asked, he let his hurt and anger have sway. “Why are you without funds? Too many hours of shopping in Bond Street, my dear?”

Gareth’s blue eyes flickered and his narrow jaw tightened. Gideon’s gaze focused on the tight pinch of his full lips. Those lips had touched his… He bit back a curse as his pantaloons grew uncomfortably tight. “Fuck.” The coarse word was a hoarse whisper that he hoped no one else picked up on.

Gareth’s tension faded and his eyes sparkled with mirth. “No, dear heart. A gentleman never pays his tailor before his gaming debts. If you must know, I played a little too deep the other night at that new hell, off Curzon street.”

The lure of cards had always been impossible for Gareth to resist. They’d often played together at school and through long rainy days at home. So Gideon knew that Gareth might be susceptible to the lure of the cards, but he wasn’t a bad player. While losing wasn’t unheard of, it was rare. “I can float you a bit till quarter day if you like.” Gideon offered.

“Kind of you, but no. If you were inclined to lose to me, that would be one thing. But I am not in need of charity.” The cards were snapped down onto the table sharply. “Cut.”

randalls_romance2__97625.1367358303.300.450Randall’s Romance

When Randall Gretton’s father leaves his family behind to seek out his lost love, Randall finds an unexpected sympathy in his father’s actions. The dashing soldier takes completely to heart his father’s advice to his children, “If you are fortunate enough to find love, then seize it.”

Is a chance encounter at a masquerade Randall’s chance at lifetime love?

Randall’s Romance Excerpt (NSFW)

He closed the door behind himself and turned the key in the lock. The book room was lit by a single porcelain candelabrum on the mantel piece. In the flickering candlelight he located Terence at the fireplace, swirling a snifter of brandy in his hand. Terence turned his head, tensing at the sound of the key turning in the lock.

“Never fear. It’s just me. I’d about given up hope of finding you; there are so very many highwaymen present tonight. Next time you must choose a more singular disguise.” Checking the room carefully for any other entrance, Randall realized Terence had chosen the perfect place for their encounter.

The highwayman glanced back at him, dark eyes glittering through the slits of his long mask. “I’d hate to draw attention.” Hi voice was muffled by the mask, but Randall caught the faint foreign accent he aped and rolled his eyes.

Randall felt his blood heat as that hooded gaze traveled down his form. His cock stirred and this time he made no move to hide his interest. “Truth, Terence, attention is to be avoided, but there is something to be said for ease of recognition in these circumstances.”

He crossed the Aubusson carpet to stand in front of his lover, drew the man to him. Terence came willingly enough into his embrace, but when Randall tried to raise the man’s domino to reveal his features, Terence caught his hand in a gloved grip. “No. Just in case, we must be discreet.”

“I did lock the door, you know.” Randall buried his face in the fabric and tightened his arms, crushing Terence along his length. The man’s costume was a miracle of tailoring, for he seemed to have even added padding to his narrow shoulders and lifts to his boots.

“Yes, but that might not be the only key.”

Continue reading

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words September 2014 Summary of Reviews and Best Covers

Standard

 

 

1_september-month-owls

 

Summary of Book Reviews and Best Covers of September 2014

 

September 2014 Book Review Summary

*Key:
STRW S series
C contemporary
F-fantasy
SF-science fiction
PN-paranormal
SP-supernatural
H-historical
HR-horror
N-Nonfiction
YA-young adult

Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding

5 Star Rating:

A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews STRWCS
Aftershocks by T. A. Webb (PF2014)
Blown Chance by Havan Fellows (PF2014)
No Fae Is An Island by Angel Martinez (STRWFS)
The Path by Ariel Tachna (STRWC)
Yakuza Courage (The Way of the Yakuza #2) by H.J. Brues STRWCS

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

A Rose by Any Other Name by Charlie Cochet, (4.5) STRWHS
A Suitable Replacement (Deceived #5) by Megan Derr (4) STRWFS
A Tooth for a Fang by Liv Olteano (4) STRWSNS
Bliss by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry (4.5) STRWSF A Barb Review
Elijah’s Ghost by Amber Kell (4) STRWSPS
Finally Home by Zee Kensington (4.5) STRWCS
Firestorm (SoulShares #4) by Rory Ni Coileain (4.5) STRWFS
Frankie’s Knight (PF2014) by T.A.Webb (4.75) STRWPF2014S
Lukos Heat by Megan Derr (4) STRWFS)
Midsummer Curse by Megan Derr (4.25) STRWSPS
Midsummer Moon by Megan Derr (4) STRWSPS)
Pulling Leather (Pickup Men Series) by L.C. Chase (4.5) STRWCS
Solitude by Anna Martin and Tia Fielding (4.25) STRWC
The Last Thing He Needs by J. H. Knight (4.5), STRWC
The Last Wolf (Sapphire Ranch Wolves #1) (4) STRWSPS
The Lost Weekend (Infected 7.5) by Andrea Speed (4), STRWSPS
The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds by Charley Descoteaux (4.25) STRWC
Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain (4) (STRWSPS) A Barb Review

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

David’s Dilemma by Rae Brewster (3) STRWSPS
Living Again by Brynn Stein (3.5) STRWC A PaulB Review
Men of the Manor Anthology (3.75) STRWHA

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

N/A

Best Covers of July 2014

Forbidden Rumspringa coverA Rose by Any Other NameA Tooth for a FangDavid's Dilemma

 

 

 

 

 

A Forbidden Rumspringa, cover artist Dar Albert
A Rose By Any Other Name, cover artist Aaron Anderson
A Tooth for a Fang, AngstyG cover artist
David’s Dilemma, cover artist Jess Buffett

 

Infected-the Lost Weekend coverLiving Again coverLukos Heat coverNoFaeIsAnIsland_200

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infected: The Lost Weekend, cover artist Paul Richmond
Living Again, cover artist Bree Archer
Lukos Heat, cover artist Julie Wright
No Fae Is An Island, cover artist Winterheart Designs

 

 

Pulling Leather coverThe Last Wolf 400x600The Path coverYakuza Courage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulling Leather, cover artist/author L.C. Chase
The Last Wolf, cover artist Meredith Russell
The Path, photographer Ariel Tachna
Yakuza Courage, artist Reese Dante