October 2014 – Summary of Reviews and Best Covers of the Month


It’s once again time to look back over the month’s reviews and best covers of October 2014.  So many great books and authors to choose from, so many covers to love.  Check them all out, add to your Must Have, Must Read list and, as always, happy reading!

October 2014 Book Review Summary

STRW S series
C contemporary
SF-science fiction
YA-young adult

Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding

5 Star Rating:

A Taste of Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr Voinov, STRWFS (MelanieM Review)
Last Marine Standing by RJ Scott, STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Red Dirt Heart 1 by N. R. Walker STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Red Dirt Heart 2 by N. R. Walker STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Red Dirt Heart 3 by N. R. Walker STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
The Broken Road Cafe by T. A. Webb, STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, STRWC (An Aurora YA Review)

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

A Heart for Robbie by J. P. Barnaby (4.5) STRWC (PaulB Review)
A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory, (4.75) STRWH (MelanieM Review)
Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations ()Mahu #7.5) by Neil S. Plakcy, (4.5) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Anchored by Rachel Haimowitz, (4.5) STRWSFS (A Barb Review)
Ben Raphael’s All-Star Virgins by K.Z. Snow (4) STRWC (Sammy Review)
Brothers in Arms (The Broken Road Cafe #2) by T.A. Webb. (4.75) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Counterpunch (Belonging #2) by Aleksandr Voinov, (4) STRWSFS (A Barb Review)
Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, (4.5) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Dead Things by Meredith Russell (4) STRWH (MelanieM Review)
Death Gets A Boyfriend by Sophie Bonaste (4) STRWF (PaulB Review)
Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs #5) by A. M. Arthur, (4) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey (4.75) STRWSF (MelanieM Review)
Phoenix Heart (Stolen Elements #1) by A.L. Wilson, (4.5) STRWSNS, (PaulB Review)
Spaghetti Western by E.M. Lynley (4) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Stand By You by A. M. Arthur (4.25) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
The Trouble with Elves by Therese Woodson (audio book version) (4) STRWFH (A Barb Review)

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Acting Out (Calm and Chaos #1) by Sharon Maria Bidwell (3) STRWCS (MelanieM Review)
Burning Ashes by H. Lewis Foster (3.5) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
Confetti, Cake & Confessions by K. C. Wells STRWC (MelanieM Review)
DMZ by Andrea Speed, (3) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
His Sleeping Beau by Jess Buffett (3.5) STRWF (PaulB Review)
Merry Christmas, Josh by Andrea Speed (3.75) STRWSNHS (MelanieM Review)
Midsummer Baker by Megan Derr (3.5) STRWFS (MelanieM Review)
Midsummer Law by Megan Derr (3.5) STRWFS (MelanieM Review)

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Changing Tide by D. P. Denman (2) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
Fire and Light by Berengaria Brown (2.5) STRWC (MelanieM Review)
Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf by B. G. Thomas *audiobook* Barb Review (2.5) STRWFH

Best Covers of July 2014


A Heart for Robbie coverTaste of copper 400x600ATasteForPoison_200x300Accidental Contact and Other cover







A Heart for Robbie, cover art by Angsty G
A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory, cover artist Meredith Russell
A Taste of Poison (Memory of Scorpions #3) by Aleksandr Voinov, cover artist Reese Dante
Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations ()Mahu #7.5) by Neil S. Plakcy, Kris Jacen artist


All Star Virgins coverCutting Out coverDMZhiddengem_final03








Ben Raphael’s All-Star Virgins by K.Z. Snow, Cover artist Maria Fanning
Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, Mumson Designs artist
DMZ by Andrea Speed, cover artist L. C.Chase
Hidden Gem, cover artist Shobana Appavu


Spaghetti Western coverThe Ocean at the End of the Lane cover
Spaghetti Western by E.M. Lynley, cover artist L.C. Chase
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, unknown artist

A MelanieM Review: Confetti, Cake & Confessions by K.C. Wells


Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Confetti, Cake and Confessions jpgIt’s been eight years since Tony Porter and Marc Powell moved into the same house and joined their families when their single parents moved in together. When Tony’s mother Marie and Marc’s father Dennis decide to finally get married, it should be a reason to celebrate and make merry.  But there’s an unknown problem.  Tony and his feelings for his step brother Marc.  Tony moved out of the house as soon as he recognized the feelings growing for Marc and now he is facing having to spend 2 weeks at home, in Marc’s constant presence, and he’s not sure how he is going to handle it.

Marc too is coming home from college and he has no idea that Tony has been in love with him since Marc was sixteen.  Their parents are depending upon the boys to make this time a special family celebration, and need them to help make it the best time for all.  But high emotions, secrets, and confusion have a way of coming out and two weeks is just long enough for that to happen.  Weddings are a time for confetti, cake, and, just maybe a few confessions.

The description and cover for K.C. Well’s story Confetti, Cake, & Confessions give the impression this is a frothy, fun story of misunderstandings and romance but I’m not sure that’s the story the readers get.   True, there are plenty of misunderstandings and romance here but the atmosphere is definitely not one of fun or froth!

Did I enjoy it?  Definitely many elements of it.  It’s very well written and the characters and their behavior are so fitting for young men of that age.  I recognized the truth of K.C. Wells’ characters.  The angst and confusion that occurs over some of the drama and “complications” that arise felt so familiar because I have had children just that age. Teens, or those just twenty, when all the emotions and feelings and obstacles loom so large, unmanageable, and  occasionally forbidding.   All that conveys beautifully within the story and yes, it does make Tony and Marc both understandably real and vulnerable.  However, it also felt frustratingly long and overcomplicated.  I know at points I just wanted to poke them and say “communication does wonders”.  That frame of mind does not readily give into the romance that is supposed to be taking place.  Realistic?  Yes.  Romantic?  No.  At least for me.

What did I think was so well done?  The self examination and doubt that comes with the road to acceptance and understanding of a young man’s sexuality. That plays out beautifully here.  At times, painful, confusing, a barrel of mixed up emotions that have to be figured out before any growth or movement can take place within the characters all felt absolutely believable.

There are other aspects of this story that other readers might have issue with.  The first being that Tony and Marc are step brothers.  This is not a case of incest as the young men are not related, not even by marriage until the end.  But those readers who look at the most strict definition of family will be bothered by the close familial ties.  That didn’t bother me.  Marc and Tony had only lived together for eight years, not all of their lives and Marc’s dad is still alive.  What else might  bother some readers?  The age of Marc and Tony.  Again, while not quite Romeo and Juliet’s age, I found this aspect of the plot to be spot on.  Remember when you first started having feelings for someone else?  Fifteen and sixteen isn’t unusual to start thinking about sexuality and who you are attracted to.  K.C. Wells does a wonderful job of treating this element with sensitivity and restraint.

I think it all came down to the ending that felt a little unrealistic for me.  It felt rushed and perhaps too simple for all that went before to have it so easily resolved.  Then again, others may be cheering and thinking that’s the best part of Confetti, Cake & Confessions.  This story can go so many ways with so many different types of readers, depending upon their outlook on family and age, that it is hard to predict where its audience lies.   Some readers will adore this story, others not so much.   To those fans of K.C. Wells, I think you will enjoy this.  For all other readers, think about the story content and decide for yourself.

Cover art by Meredith Russell, whose lovely design and models make you want to reach out and grab up this story.

Sales Links:        All Romance eBooks  (ARe)       amazon   Confetti, Cake & Confessions

 Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages
Published September 29th 2014 by Island Tales press
edition languageEnglish

On Tour with Garrett Leigh and her latest release Heart (contest)




Check out the latest release from Garrett Leigh, Heart.  Read the blurb and excerpt and don’t forget to enter the  contest at the end!

Book Name: Heart
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Garrett Leigh

Author Bio:

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com

HEARTTheFinal_edited-1Heart by Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: G.D. Leigh (Blackjazzpress.com)

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  amazon US   amazon UK   amazon CA

Heart Blurb:

Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Heart Excerpt:

SEB TOOK a drink of his beer and set it down again with undue care. “You can’t read, can you?”


“I don’t believe you.”

Dex slid off his stool and shoved his hands into his pockets. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected when Seb had ambushed him, but it wasn’t this. So what if he couldn’t bloody read? It wasn’t like he’d ever been to school to learn.

Seb caught his arm. “Don’t go, Dex. I’m sorry, okay? I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”

Seb’s hand engulfed Dex’s wrist, his touch as charged and heated as it had ever been. Dex felt his resolve melting, ebbing away until it was all he could do to fall back onto the bar stool. “I can read some,” he said mutinously. “I can read numbers, and names. Knew the name of your shop, didn’t I?”

“Can you write?”

“Never tried.” Dex looked down. Lying to Seb felt all wrong. He’d heard the name of Seb’s shop on the street, and the only name he could read was his own.

Seb was silent for a moment, then without warning, Dex felt his fingers brush through his shower-damp hair. “It really is brown. I thought it was just wet.”

Dex fought for the strength to shy away from the soft gesture, but nothing happened. “The bleach grew out.”

“It was dyed?”

“Couldn’t you tell?” Dex had forgotten his brief stint as a blond was all Seb had ever known of him.

“No, not at all. You look totally different now. Not sure I would’ve recognized you without the scowl. You just about shocked the shit of me. I… I thought I’d never see you again.”

Pages: 204
HeartBadgeTour Dates: October 31, 2014

Tour Stops:
Parker WilliamsRainbow Gold ReviewsInked Rainbow ReadsMM Good Book Reviews
Cate AshwoodBFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook3 Chicks After DarkFoxylutely Book Reviews
Smoocher’s VoiceCarly’s Book ReviewsBoy Meets Boy ReviewsWicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Hearts on FireFallen Angel ReviewsThe Blogger GirlsLove BytesScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Andrew Q. Gordon


Contest:  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Heart’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details.
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