A MelanieM Review: Forgiving Thayne (True Mates #2) by J.R. Loveless

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Forgiving Thayne coverFor Nicholas Cartwright it was just supposed to be a typical night clubbing. Dancing, hot men, and if he got lucky and hooked up?  Even better. Then the man he left the bar with turned out to be his true mate and everything went to hell.  His mate rejected him, driving Nick away, demolishing all his dreams and hopes for the future.  That was six months ago.  Now Nick has tried everything he can to forget that night and the fact that he has a mate that doesn’t want him.  But he can’t and he is suffering, swamped with the need for the mate his wolf calls for and the pain and humiliation of knowing he’s been rejected.

Thayne Whitedove has always been a wanderer, a lone wolf who takes comfort in the casual hookups and the rare visit home to his pack’s lands.  Then Thayne commits a fatal mistake, one that is following him from place to place in deadly pursuit. The only way to correct his mistake is to accept the one thing he’s never wanted… his mate. Thayne must decide whether to keep running or to stay and fight for Nick’s forgiveness and acceptance.

Burying himself in his work, Nick pushes himself to the point of exhaustion while finding the touch of another unbearable. Suddenly his mate needs his help, and Thayne may be asking for more than Nicholas can find it in himself to give.

Forgiving Thayne is the first story I have read in J.R. Loveless’s True Mates series.  The first story, Chasing Seth, dealt with  veterinarian Seth Davies and his mate, Kasey Whitedove.  This couple figures prominently in this story and the author is careful to include enough information and back history on both of them that I didn’t feel that this story suffered by skipping over book one.  In fact, one of the main characters in Forgiving Thayne, Thayne Whitedove, made appearances in that story as he is Kasey’s brother, to set up a foundation for this one.

The only section where the world building might feel a little incomplete (the full history of the shifter natures of Seth and Nick) seems to be explored more fully in book one.  My curiosity and interest in this author’s shifter universe will send me to the beginning of this series and Chasing Seth for additional information.  Otherwise, I feel that this story can be judged on its own qualities and it has many good ones.

The Whitedove family is part of a Native American shifter tribe that expects a strict adherence to the tribal rules and regulations.  Running a foul of the highest of those laws puts Thayne in direct conflict with his family and tribe.  In addition, an old promise has kept Thayne moving from place to place with limited connections to home and territory.  I loved the richness of Loveless’ setting and shifter lore.  This author has built a deep mythology for their shifters and uses it as a framework for Forgiving Thayne.  The setting, especially the town of Senaka and the Wolf’s Den bar,  lend an authentic tone to the events and characters that appear in this story.  Building on this supernatural structure,  Loveless creates a key component of the plot and narrative that feels logical, yet still surprising.  In fact, I wish more of this aspect of the story had been expanded, to include more details and the reasoning behind it.  It was one of the more intriguing elements here and it made the story for me.

I think most of my issues dealt with the main characters, especially that of Thayne.  His actions and dialog is that of a gold plated jerk, a judgement that should have been disappeared once his reasoning and back history is revealed.  But that aspect of his character remains intact for the majority of the story primarily because the rationale created by the author and the consequences of  old actions just never make any sense.  Without going into too much detail or spoiler territory, the basis for a promise that has severe implications in adulthood never felt solid and his continued actions and poor judgement calls felt more contrived than believable.  To make this element even flimsier, the “aha” moment was diluted by a complete lack of drama that included the reactions of an old friend.  That person we believed in.  Thayne?  Not so much.

What holds up this romance and makes it work is the character of Nicholas Cartwright.  He’s lovely, angst ridden, and totally vulnerable in a way that the reader will connect with.  He saves the romance and the relationship because no matter how the reader will feel about Thayne, Nicholas is there to pull it all back together.

There is a third story on the horizon, Protecting Kai (True Mates #3).  I shall be in line when that one comes out and will pick up and start reading Chasing Seth to complete the back history and make sure I have all the series key components in mind.

Do I recommend this story? Yes, especially to those lovers of shifter romances.  J.R. Loveless throws in some fascinating new touches to wolf shifter lore and her characters have a certain sass and depth I find necessary and interesting.  So check it out and let me know how you feel, about Chasing Seth or Forgiving Thayne!

Cover Artist: Anne Cain has some nice touches and does a good job of branding the series with the same elements.

Sales Links:  

Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback

All Romance eBook (ARe)

amazon                       Forgiving Thayne

Book Details:

book, 290 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163216213X (ISBN13: 9781632162137)
edition languageEnglish
url http://jrloveless.com/coming-soon
seriesTrue Mates #2

True Mates Series includes:

Chasing Seth (True Mates #1)
Forgiving Thayne (True Mates #2)
Protecting Kai (True Mates #3)  coming soon

 

 

Go Into the Night with Shannon West’s latest, Moonstruck (tour and contest)

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Book Name: Moonstruck
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Shannon West

Author Bio:

Shannon West currently lives in the South with her husband and family. A lover and avid reader of M/M romances, she began writing them a few years ago and now has over forty short stories, novellas, and novels to her credit. She was a finalist in the Rainbow Awards for 2013 and very honored to be an All Romance Ebooks Top Ten Author for 2013. She loves men and everything about them, and believes that love is love, no matter the gender. She mostly spends her days at the keyboard, trying to elude housework, which stalks her relentlessly.  A 2014 Rainbow Awards nominee in Science Fiction.

Author Contact:

  • Twitter: @shannonwest8

 

Author Note about ‘Moonstruck’:

I used to teach high school English and at one point I taught a class called Pacesetter, which was a kind of pre-AP Literature class. One of the units focused on Cultural Differences and how they had caused so much prejudice, misunderstanding and downright hatred over the centuries. Kind of a “man’s inhumanity to man” theme. Really fascinating and also horrible to realize how utterly cruel human being can be to each other because of the difference in our skins, our religion or our sexual orientation. In Germany, Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews, the homosexuals and anyone else who disagreed with him politically. In Australia, the British tried to “breed the black” out of Aborigine and English mixed children to keep their race pure. In Rwanda, the Hutus tribe set out to exterminate the Tutsi tribe because they looked a little “more white” than the Hutus, and came very close to wiping them off the map. These stories abound all over history and literature.

So I thought if a new breed of human (one that could shift into a wolf) were to be discovered, what would be the outcome? It would be nice to think we would accept them, but in reality, we’d probably do the same as so many other cultures–marginalize them and/or eradicate them. This is where I got the idea for the story and it will follow the lives of a small group of wolves who join with a few Alaskan wolves, who have already had their lives mostly destroyed by the government. Two alphas from these groups fall in love and decide not to just go along and meekly accept their fate. Instead they refuse to go into the camps and they try to fight for their own lives and for the future of their species.

Publisher: Dark Hollows Press
Cover Artist: 3 Rusted Spoons

Sales Links:   ARe      Amazon    Dark Hollow Press

moonstruck coverMoonstruck Blurb:

Special Agent in Charge Jaden Malik’s meeting with the old gray alpha was the first step in an attempt to convince him a fight by his pack against their removal by the Bureau of Lupine Affairs or the BLA would not only be futile but would lead to their utter destruction. When he’s attacked by the son of the old alpha, he takes the handsome man hostage to ensure the pack’s cooperation and then finds to his horror that the man is his mate.

Tyler Jenkins is furious at his capture and Malik’s plans to take his pack to one of the government preserves for wolf shifters. Malik is a shifter himself, and Tyler can’t understand how he can betray his own kind. Tyler’s pack has evaded capture for over thirty years, since the camps were first created, and he has no intention of being put behind bars. Despite his growing attraction to Jaden, Tyler manages a dangerous, daring escape with his pack, turning the tables on Malik by putting him in his own silver handcuffs and taking him with them.

Tyler has only one chance to save what’s growing between them. He has to make it good or risk losing his lover and his mate forever.

Categories: Erotica, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal

Moonstruck Excerpt:

His shoulder began to throb from the silver bullet the big one had dug out of his shoulder. Before they’d started, their alpha had given him an injection to deaden the pain, but it was coming back now with a vengeance. Malik had surprised Ty with the gunshot and caught him off guard, but the attack on the agent proved to Ty, at least, that these bastards could be beaten. His father wasn’t even willing to try. Bile churned in his gut and the blood roared in his ears as the reality of his situation sank in. From free man and son of the alpha to hostage of a hated enemy and prisoner in the span of a heartbeat—how the fuck was that even possible?

He shook his head frantically and Malik reached up to pull down the gag from around his mouth. Ty practically spit the words at him. “You son-of-a-bitch! Let me go! I’ll fight you by myself. Just release me and give me a chance, or are you afraid of a fair fight?”

“So you’ve been yelling for some time now, which is why you’re wearing the gag. No more fighting. You’re my prisoner now and prisoners don’t get to make challenges. So settle your ass down.”

Ty glared at the big leader, standing in front of him with his arms crossed over his chest. “What’s the matter, are you scared?” Ty said, taunting him. “I’ve made a challenge, so either accept it or admit you’re afraid to fight me!”

The big leader stepped closer to him, taking his chin in his hand and forcing him to gaze directly into his eyes. “Be careful, Ty. Continue to run your mouth and I’ll gag you again, but it won’t be with this rag,” he said contemptuously, flicking at the cloth pulled down from his mouth. He rubbed his hand over his groin and smirked at him. “Do you understand my meaning?”

Ty flinched, but kept his gaze steady. “I’m not afraid of you, you bastard,” he said, and it would have been perfect if his damn voice hadn’t cracked there at the end, which pissed him off. He wasn’t afraid of this wolf, but there was something about him…something that fascinated and infuriated him at the same time.

Malik’s eyes softened and grew darker as they stayed fixed on his. A long, infinitely strange moment passed during which they simply gazed into each other’s eyes. It seemed like even the air around them almost crackled with energy. Ty swore that for a moment he could see the sparks flying between them. Then one of the others cleared his throat, breaking the mood. Jaden shook his head and released Ty’s chin abruptly, turning toward his men. “We’re heading back to camp. We can notify headquarters to expect us with the newcomers in two days’ time. Keep close and vigilant. I don’t trust these people to keep their bargain.”

Ty dropped his gaze so the rogues wouldn’t see the emotions that surely must be blazing in his eyes. His father would keep his filthy bargain—Ty had no doubt of it now, and he wouldn’t add to his father’s shame by creating any more of a scene, because this was a dishonor. They should have fought these trespassers off, given up their lives if necessary to defend themselves. Ty was deeply ashamed of his father for rolling over and giving in so easily. Were they cowards to be so afraid of a fight? Ty wasn’t afraid, and he’d make sure this government lackey—this traitor—knew that soon enough. He was aware of the big man reaching for him, and he put his head back up, his eyes defiant and met the agent’s steely gaze without flinching. He forced a tight rein on his emotions, because he knew they showed plainly on his face and he would not give away his private thoughts, no matter how wildly they raged inside his head. He had a strange feeling that this man knew exactly what he was thinking anyway and was quietly amused by it. His father and the rest of his pack had left the clearing, leaving Ty alone with these savages. As the others prepared to leave the clearing, Malik took deliberate stock of him, even walking around behind Ty to look him over. When Ty glared back at him, the man met his gaze with an impassive coldness, though his eyes lingered for a long time on Ty’s face. Ty hoped he could see the hatred and antipathy raging there, and he thought he might, because the alpha quirked up one eyebrow as he gazed into Ty’s eyes. The corners of his mouth lifted in a slightly contemptuous smirk, which only served to fuel Ty’s rage.

Malik reached down and took hold of the rope on Ty’s wrists, and for a second, Ty thought he actually might release him. Instead he took off the rope and held his wrists in an iron-like grip as he reached for a set of silver cuffs hanging from a loop on his camo pants. He quickly and efficiently snapped them on Ty’s wrists and a feeling of extreme weakness and lethargy came over Ty, so profound that he immediately wilted and looked up at the agent with astonishment. The cuffs began to make his wrists ache, and he groaned in pain before he even realized it. The cuffs were draining his energy and making him feel weak. His knees buckled a little.

Malik immediately put an arm around his waist to hold him up. “Steady now. You’ll get used to them in a minute. Don’t fight it.” In another couple of minutes, the ache did decrease, though the weakness remained. Ty felt like an idiot, standing there being held up by another man in an embrace so close they might be mistaken for two lovers.

Before he could gather the strength to pull away, Malik took a silver chain looped on the back of his belt and fixed it to the handcuffs, thus tethering Ty to him. Ty gave him an incredulous look and tried to jerk away, only to be shocked at the strength in the delicate-looking chain as it held him effortlessly. Malik smiled down at him and nodded toward each of the four or five big men standing behind them, regarding him with frank curiosity.

“These are members of my team. Follow their orders as you would mine.”

“That’ll be easy enough, since I have no intention of following yours either.”

Ty was aware of the angry, surprised looks the others were giving him—all except for Malik. He showed no emotion at all, except maybe amusement as Ty smirked at him and raised one eyebrow in defiance, deliberately baiting him. It was taking everything in him to stand there as if he were unaffected by all that had happened, when all he felt like doing was collapsing to his knees. The silver from the cuffs seemed to be leaching into his bones. “You’re going to be fun,” Malik said softly and held his gaze so long Ty felt a shiver of fear down his spine, though he’d rather die than let this bastard know it. Maybe, considering his situation, he should tone it down a tad. He shuffled his feet and lowered his gaze. Better to bide his time so they might relax and think he was cowed down by them.

“Let’s get going—it’ll be dark soon,” Malik finally said and turned on his heel to take off down the trail to where they’d camped, pulling Ty along behind him like a stray puppy.

Rather than get into an undignified struggle with Malik that he probably wouldn’t win anyway, Ty huffed out a breath, giving in. He ungraciously allowed the alpha to pull him along by the chain into the woods and down a long shady pathway there. He dragged his feet as much as he dared, slowing Malik down and once even making him stumble. He concentrated on sending a wave of hatred at the agent’s back and was surprised to see him glance back at him from time to time as if he actually felt it.

Words: 43,397

MoonstruckBadgeTour Dates: November 17, 2014

Tour Stops: 

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Molly Lolly, Sinfully Sexy, Decadent Delights, Cate Ashwood, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Iyana Jenna, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Multitasking Mommas, Velvet Panic, 3 Chicks After Dark, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, The Hat Party , Carly’s Book Reviews, , My Fiction Nook, Queer Town Abbey, Fallen Angel Reviews

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

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In the Spotlight: ‘Across Worlds: Collision’ by S.A. Snow (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: Across Worlds: Collision
Goodreads Link
Author Name: S.A. Snow

Author Bio:

After chasing around puppies and corralling kittens, S.A. Snow flips open her BSG replicated console and enters her mysterious world of imagination. Seeking to escape the rigors of her day jobs, she enters flight mode and powers her engines full-speed ahead.

A prolific writer of non-traditional erotica, S.A. Snow grew up on a small alpaca farm high in the Andes Mountains.

A lover of yoga and meditation, she spends her free time constructing alien space stations, organizing werewolf governments, and cataloging all episodes of Star Trek in order of technical soundness. A firm believer that one need not choose between Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas, she also has closely examines all Star Wars movies in order to determine which episode is more factually based.

S.A. Snow writes truth and only truth, factoring in all evidences she can find. She writes only about parallel universes she has personally visited, and believes if something about her books isn’t shocking, she’s not effectively telling the story.

Author Contact:

Email: booksbysnow@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/booksbysnow
Twitter: www.twitter.com/booksbysnow

Publisher: Supposed Crimes LLC
Cover Artist: Heidi DeCausemaker

Sales Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo
iTunes

Across Worlds: Collision Blurb:

Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love.

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing.

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring.

As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

Categories:Bisexual, Erotica, Romance, Science Fiction

Across Worlds: Collision Excerpt:

“I am not a man.”

Jane took a long sip from the drink, using it to bide her time before she asked the question on the tip of her tongue.

“What are you, then?”

“I am Xanthian.”

Usnavi stood up straight, zher back tense as zhe moved over to stand in front of Jane.

“Is it really that hard to understand that I am neither man nor woman, male nor female, that I am simply Xanthian and Usnavi?”

Grinding her back teeth together, Jane nodded minutely.

“Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not,” she responded.

Pages: 206 pages
Tour Dates/Tour Stops:

AWCBadgeTour Dates/Tour Stops:

17-Nov

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

18-Nov

Butterfly-O-Meter

Parker Williams

19-Nov

Hearts on Fire

Up All Night, Read All Day

20-Nov

Jade Crystal

21-Nov

Molly Lolly

24-Nov

BFD Book Blog

25-Nov

Velvet Panic

26-Nov

Amanda C. Stone

27-Nov

Rebecca Cohen Writes

Inked Rainbow Reads

28-Nov

Prism Book Alliance

Cate Ashwood

 

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-Book Copy of Across Worlds: Collision. 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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