A MelanieM Review: The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity #3) by Josh Lanyon

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo coverStill dealing with the fallout from their recent investigation and murder,  mystery author Christopher “Kit” Holmes decided to overcome his misgivings and move in with his lover and fellow mystery writer, Julian Xavier “JX” Moriarity, a decision that has precipitated a move to San Francisco and a new house.  What could go wrong?

Well, almost everything.  With boxes still piled all around them, JX heads off to the Murder at Midtown conference, leaving Kit to ponder on the wisdom of this latest move…relationship and house.  Still, nothing  prepares Kit for the dead body under the Styrofoam beads in the crate that should have contained his old and treasured china.

Packing will have to wait while more mysteries pop up to solve along with dead bodies.  Who is the dead man?  Why is he in Kit and JX’s crate?  And importantly, what happened to Kit’s china?

I have been waiting for another book in the Holmes & Moriarity series since December 2010 when I finished the marvelous story, All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity #2).  The aftermath of the murders and events of that novel were nothing short of earthshattering. And that story left me wonderfing what would happen next…to both our main characters as well as their relationship.  Now, four years later I finally have my answer with The Boy With The Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity #3). Well, sort of, and I couldn’t be happier.

I said “sort of” because as any fan of Josh Lanyon’s and his stories know, nothing is ever a sure thing, including an absolutely happy resolution with his characters or their relationships.  Whether it is Adrien English and his lover, the tormented, closeted Jake Riordan (who make guest appearances here), or Kit Holmes and JX Moriarity, the foundation on which their lives and relationships is built lies on shaky ground, a terrain where you almost expect to see the fissures and cracks that habitually appear to threaten their relationship, sanity, and in some cases, their lives.  Also well known to us fans is that the source for some of these ruptures and interruptions spring from and are self inflicted by the complex, introspective and wounded men that Josh Lanyon writes so well.

We live in the mind of Kit Holmes in this series and what a mind that is!  Highly intelligent, questioning, somewhat quarrelsome, and introspective, Kit’s emotionally and mentally scattered when we jump into their new life and home on Chestnut Lane.  His decision, prompted by the awful events in the last book, to move in with JX has seen him give up his home in Southern California to move with all his treasured belongings to San Francisco where JX can be close to his ex wife and nephew (long story, read the books).  And at every step and moment we know (as we are listening into his internal monologue) that Kit constantly questions whether he has done the right thing, if their relationship will work out, and how will they juggle the changing dynamics that the reversal in their career fortunes is introducing into their partnership.  There is so much stuff crammed into that brilliant skull that it would be exhausting for all trying to untangle it if it wasn’t also so marvelously entertaining.  And wouldn’t Kit just hate that!

I adore Kit in all his difficult, brooding glory but I have also fallen in love with  JX, a  man with his own “quieter” set of issues and problems.  JX is an author whose career is on the rise just as Kit’s popularity as an author and mystery genre is falling out of favor.  But whereas Kit’s wears his foibles and somewhat contentious nature like a well fitted suit, JX’s flaws and complexities are far more subtle, needing a major crash, explosion or even murder to bring them out into the open.  The juxtaposition of these two strong personalities as they struggle to maintain a relationship or investigation makes this series and this book always absorbing and highly addictive.

How can you not love a man whose just had the best, most explosive sex of his life,, and then spends the next moments pondering (internally of course) what’s wrong with it, them and himself?  All while still in bed, naked and sweaty?  If, as Socrates says “an unexamined life is not worth living”, then Kit Holmes is living life to the fullest!

And there are more joys to be found with this latest installment of Holmes & Moriarity.  Their move onto Chestnut Lane has brought them a curious neighbor with the wonderful name of Emmaline Bloodworth.  Any one with a familiarity of British cozies should be rubbing their hands together in anticipation.  Here is our (and Kit’s) first introduction to her:

I saw a small person of indeterminate sex, dressed in baggy clothes. At first glance it appeared that one of the garden gnomes from next door had come to life. And had something to say about it.

“Good morning!” the gnome greeted me. She had one of those fluting, high voices that brought to mind Sunday school teachers and curators at the most macabre exhibits at the Tower of London. A voice like an ice pick through your left eye socket. “Welcome to the neighborhood. So sorry to disturb you on your first morning, but the movers must have broken one of the sprinkler heads along your front walk.”

“Oh. Uh…okay.”

As I seemed to be missing the point, she said kindly, “Water is shooting up like a geyser out there. There’s a drought going on, you know.”

She was probably in her sixties, but unlike my former mentor Anna Hitchcock, no effort here had been made to stave off the ravages of time. Not that she looked ravaged. Beneath the wide brim of her hat I could just make out twinkling blue eyes in a round and rosy face.

And yes, she has a cat which just happens to resemble in name and appearance the feline that figures so largely in Kit’s mystery novels.  Another mystery to solve?  I hope so.

And then there is Inspector Ishwar “Izzie” Jones, SFPD and JX’s former partner, Rachel Ving or Ving the Merciless as Kit’s agent is known who wants Kit to write Swedish type mysteries, JX’s ex wife and former sister in law Nina and Gage, her son and his nephew (really, you must read the first two stories).  The Boy with the Painful Tattoo is chock full of the most wonderful characters and intriguing situations you could hope for, especially in ones that act as secondary storylines along side the primary ones of murder most foul and a relationship still looking to find solid ground, albeit temporarily.

Yes, I loved this book, yes, I adore this series and I think any lover of mysteries (M/M or otherwise) will as well.  Combine a terrific mystery with two believable and charismatic men trying to balance lives, love, and careers and you have author whose series and main characters should be on everyone’s Must Have, Must Read lists.   I can’t wait to see what happens next in the lives of Holmes & Moriarity but if you are new to this couple, start with the first mystery where they are reunited in Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity #1).  Continue onto All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity, #2), before arriving here at The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity, #3).  If you’ve been good or perhaps very, very naughty and good, you might find them in your eReader stocking!

I love Josh Lanyon and this story is just another reason why he should be on everyone’s top list of authors whose stories you must have.  Consider The Boy With The Painful Tattoo one of my Highly Recommneded Reads!

Cover art by L.C. Chase.  Love the cover.  It has that sort of Noir feel to it of the older mystery novel covers. Great job.

Sales Links:  Josh Lanyon        All Romance (ARe)         amazon                  buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Published October 5th 2014 by Just Joshin (first published October 3rd 2014)
original titleThe Boy with the Painful Tattoo
ISBN139781937909376
edition languageEnglish
seriesHolmes & Moriarity #3

Books in the  Holmes & Moriarity series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the timeline of events and relationship history:

Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarity #1)
All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity, #2)
The Boy with the Painful Tattoo (Holmes & Moriarity, #3)

 

A Mika Review:  Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Unwrapping Hank coverSloane loves a good mystery. He grew up as the son of two psychiatrists, so he finds most people tediously easy to figure out. He finds his way to Pennsylvania State University, longing for a rural experience, and ends up being lured into joining a frat by Micah Springfield, the hippest guy on campus.

 Nothing in Sloane’s classes is as intriguing as Hank Springfield, Micah’s brother and fellow frat house member. Hank looks like a tough guy—big muscles, tattoos, and a beard—but his eyes are soft and sweet. He acts dumb, but he’s a philosophy major. He’s presumably straight, but then why does Sloane feel such crazy chemistry whenever Hank is around? And why does Hank hate Sloane so much?

When Sloane ends up stuck on campus over Christmas, Micah invites him to spend the holidays at their family farm in Amish country. It’s a chance to experience a true Americana Christmas–and further investigate the mystery that is Hank Springfield.

Can Sloane unlock the secrets of this family and unwrap the heart hidden inside the beefcake?

I really enjoyed this novella length book. I liked Sloane from the beginning, he was hilarious. Sloane is a freshman new pledge living in the Delta Sigma Phi at Pennsylvania State University; he is extremely cynical for such a young age. We can attribute these to his not so attentive parents, who are world class psychologist and jet setters. Sloane immediately attacked to the big buff guy with tattoos washing dishes in the frat house. Hank is that guy, I liked him, sure he seemed a little OCD-ish with the working out, but to each it’s own. I honestly didn’t see him as the frat type based on the other guys but that’s what I liked about the story.

Instantly Sloane is taken with Hank, because how could he not? This guy is a walking contradiction. I liked the little ways that Sloane tried to figure Hank out. It was down right funny at times. Micah is definitely a character that steals certain scenes. He’s Hank’s older brother and president of the frat, he also a sweet, down to earth guy. I liked Micah because he was super supportive to both guys.

Sloane’s parents end up ditching him for Christmas, thus leaving Sloane all alone in the States. Who comes to the rescue, Micah of course? I don’t want to give away the rest but there are definitely sweet moments, electricity moments, and tears to me.  An Amish sighting and all types of pie. There are instances where Sloane doesn’t know what to do, but between Micah being extremely helpful and Hank playing coy, I felt we all were winning. I hope Eli decides to give us Micah’s story because I need to know his decisions.

I definitely recommend Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton.  It has terrific characters and enjoyable plot.

Cover Art by Reese Dante. Actually I think the guy on the cover looked way older then “20 years” old. He looks like a 30 yr old gym rat; I did like the gift and the dog aspect.

Sales Links:   All Romance eBooks       amazon            buy it here

Book Details:

eBook, 135 pages
Published November 14, 2014 by Eli Easton
ISBN: B00OWIQH5I
Edition Language: English

Victor Alexander is here with a ” Delicious Mistake” (book tour, recipe, and contest)

Standard

DMBanner300x250

Book Name: Delicious Mistake
Author Name: Vicktor Alexander

Here Vicktor Alexander is doling out the goodies on his latest story, Delicious Mistake.  While you are checking out the book below, think about this delicious recipe from the author:

“This is the recipe that I shared at the end of Raising Shawna it’s called “Heavenly Delight” and it’s one of my favorite desserts of all time:                                                                    Heavenly Delight

Ingredients:

Bottom Crust:

2 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 Cup melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Custard layer:

1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 Bananas, sliced lengthwise
1-15 oz can crushed pineapple (drained of juice)
1 regular or double size container of Cool Whip
1 15oz can of sliced peaches (drained)
small pkg of slivered Almonds

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup melted butter/margarine. Press the mixture into an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking pan.

In a separate bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup melted butter/margarine, 1 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread this mixture over the crust and place in freezer until hardened. Take 3-5 bananas sliced length wise and place side by side with some spacing between slices on top of the hardened butter mixture. Take 1 – 15oz can crushed pineapple (drain juice) sprinkle over the sliced bananas and in between slices. Take a tub of Cool-Whip as much as you desire spread over the top of banana/pineapple layer. Garnish with sliced peaches and some Almond slivers.

———–now add to your  recipe box——————-

Author Bio:

Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since. He loves reading about anything and everything and is a proud member of the little known U.N. group (Undercover Nerds) because while he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps sports, he also breathes history and science fiction and grew up a Trekkie. But don’t ask him about Dungeons & Dragons, because he has no idea how to play that game.

When it comes to writing he loves everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to historical and is known not only for being the Epilogue King but also for writing stories that cross lines and boundaries that he doesn’t know are there. Vic is a proud father of two daughters one of whom watches over him from Heaven with his deceased partner Christopher. Vic is a proud trans* and gay man, and when he is not writing, he is hanging out with his friends, or being distracted by videos of John Barrowman, Scott Hoying, and Shemar Moore. Vicktor has published numerous bestselling novels and has a WIP list that makes him exhausted just thinking about. He knows that he will be still be writing about hot men falling in love with each other, long after he is living in an assisted living facility, flirting with the hot, male nurses.

Author Contact:

http://www.facebook.com/VicktorAlexanderB
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVicktorAlexander
http://www.twitter.com/VVeeB
http://www.vicktoralexander.tumblr.com

Delicious Mistake Cover PhotoPublisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

Sales Links:  Totally Bound

Delicious Mistake Blurb:

Miguel Rodriguez stood by his friend Xavier’s side when evidence of his affair with another man came out. He also stuck by Xavier when he disappeared from Atlanta and moved to the mountains of Wyoming. But he will not stand by Xavier when he decides to marry his young lover and still run for the Senate.

Hopping on a plane to Wyoming, Miguel finds himself meeting Julian Canton, a young man who has no political ambitions and doesn’t even vote, and yet Miguel finds himself fascinated. Miguel makes the mistake of upgrading Julian’s ticket so they can get to know each other better and somehow finds himself in Riverton, WY, holding Julian’s hand as he says goodbye to his brother. Giving in to his attraction to the young man, Miguel struggles not only with his physical attraction but with his emotional one as well. When he compounds his mistake by inviting Julian along with him to talk to Xavier, he soon finds himself feeling something he has never felt before. Will he join his friend Xavier in listening to his heart or will he walk away?
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Delicious Mistake Excerpt:

“How in the world did you make us being friends sound so dirty?” Julian asked.

Miguel chuckled. “Oh that’s easy. I can make anything sound dirty. It’s all about lowering my voice and making everything you say the most seductive thing you’ve ever uttered.”

Julian’s eyebrows rose. “Oh really? Prove it.”

Miguel leaned forward, ignoring the people walking past them, juggling their carry-ons, children, friends and spouses as they exited the plane. He lowered his voice and stared at Julian’s groin, his brain filling with images of Julian’s cock encaged in a cock ring, his body straining against restraints, his skin glistening with sweat as he pleaded with Miguel to let him come.
“Voting for a presidential candidate is one of the best things you can do as an American, because it guarantees that your voice is heard, even when it doesn’t feel like it. It’s a time when you can take control, assert your independence and make sure that you have someone in office who cares about what you care about.” He could hear how seductive his voice sounded and if the darkening of Julian’s eyes was any indication, the man was turned on—though more by the tenor of Miguel’s voice than his actual words. “You should think about voting, Julian,” he said, rolling the younger man’s name around in his mouth like a fine wine. “Enclosing yourself in a booth and either punching a hole or touching a screen and choosing who the head of the country is going to be.”

Julian was panting, his pink lips parted as he stared at Miguel. “Holy fuck,” he croaked out. “That was the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard about the most boring subject in the world.”

Pages: 55 pages

DMBadgeTour Dates: December 16, 2014

Tour Stops: 

Parker Williams, Foxylutely Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook, Molly Lolly,

Queer Town Abbey, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Love Bytes, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Multitasking Mommas, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Charley Descoteaux

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Nic Starr

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews

 

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link provided for all additional contest details and entry form.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join Rainbow Award Finalist Lane Hayes on Tour with The Right Word (contest)

Standard

TRWBanner300x250

Book Name: The Right Words
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Lane Hayes

Author Bio:

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.

Author Contact:

Website: http://lanehayes.wordpress.com
Twitter: @LaneHayes3
Facebook: LaneHayesauthor
Email: lanehayes@ymail.com

RightWords[The]FSPublisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Sales Links:   Dreamspinner eBook  and Paperback

The Right Words Blurb:

Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.

Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Humor, Romance

Excerpt from The Right Words by Lane Hayes

“One day at a time,” he repeated thoughtfully, making an obvious effort to steer the topic toward something more pleasant.

“Well, I don’t have anything better, so… I’ll go with that too.” Michael’s smile lit his entire face. It was a beautiful thing to witness. He was handsome always, but wow… what a smile.

“Was the picture of us good at least?”

This time he laughed out loud, a sweet, musical sound that made me chuckle along with him.

“Yeah, very hot.” He reached over and pulled me into his side effortlessly. “Look, I wasn’t trying to send mixed signals this week. I know I haven’t been around like I said I would. I… Jamie isn’t going to go away easily. This has been a weird blow to add to an already fucked-up situation, but… I like you and I do trust you.”

“You like me?”

He gave a small half chuckled and shrugged. “Un poco.” He translated when I gave him a blank stare. “A little.”

“I like you a little too.”

I couldn’t help my response at being near him. I curled into his side like a cat begging for attention. Michael wrapped his arms around me and kissed my cheek and my chin. I didn’t want a “friend” kiss, though. I wanted what he gave me Friday night. I wanted “that kiss.” I intercepted him when he leaned in to peck my temple and stuck my tongue out to trace the corner of his mouth. He groaned and accepted the invitation, diving and thrusting his tongue inside my mouth to stake his claim. His right hand traveled down my throat and came to a stop over my left nipple. He rubbed at the sensitive flesh through my tight T-shirt and squeezed hard when he heard my moan of approval.

I arched my back into his touch but kept my mouth fastened to his. I didn’t want to lose this connection. He bit at my chin and sent kisses down my neck as his hand dipped down to my belt and came to rest on my hardening cock. I whimpered and scooted on his lap to straddle his thighs.

“Is this okay? Am I hurting your knee?”

“It’s good, honey. Really good.” Both of his hands splayed flat on my back and circled to the front to pluck at the fabric of my T-shirt. “Take it off.”

I didn’t have to be told twice. I was burning up. I yanked it over my head and tossed it aside before I began working on the seemingly endless row of buttons on his dress shirt.

“Fuck. Help me get his off you. I need to feel your skin.”

I barely recognized my voice. I sounded breathless.

When Michael finally leaned forward to let the fabric slide from his shoulders, I met him halfway to feel his skin against mine. Heaven. He was simply beautiful, with finely toned washboard abs and gorgeous skin. It was smooth like mine but much darker. Olive against golden. I loved the contrast and I was anxious to explore. I let my hands roam, over his chest, down his stomach, and back again. My fingers itched to palm his cock through his worn jeans. Instead I fused my naked torso against his and ground my aching cock against his equally hard member. We both hissed, and the kiss became something more like sex.

Pages: 204 pages

Tour Dates: December 12th – January 6th 

TRWBadgeTour Stops: 

12-Dec

Parker Williams

Foxylutely Book Reviews

Sinfully Sexy

16-Dec

Hearts on Fire

Love Bytes

Kimi-Chan

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

19-Dec

Molly Lolly

Cate Ashwood

MM Good Book Reviews

23-Dec

BFD Book Blog

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Amanda C. Stone

26-Dec

Prism Book Alliance

Regular Guys, Hot Romance

30-Dec

The Novel Approach

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

Queer Town Abbey

2-Jan

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

6-Jan

Decadent Delights

My Fiction Nook

Multitasking Mommas

Velvet Panic

Joyfully Jay

 

Contest: Enter to win aRafflecopter Prize: $25 Gift Card. Use the link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details. Must by 18 years of age or older to enter.
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway