A Sammy Review: Dex in Blue (Johnnies #2) by Amy Lane

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Rating 5 stars out of 5

Dex in Blue coverDex is a seasoned porn star who’s had his heart broken in the worst of ways. His entire identity is framed around a past lover who he never had a chance with, and he practically runs Johnnies while the real boss is busy throwing it all away.

It’s a lot of pressure for a guy to be under, and when Kane takes him by storm with a relationship that seems to be all about sex, Dex goes forth with the assumption that it’s all “just sex”.

Of course, it’s never that simple, and when nothing becomes everything, these two must conquer the difficulties that come from a variety of corners – business, family, and love.

When he held onto Dex, it was all perfect—best part of his day perfect, best part of his life perfect. Just… just sunny spring day perfect, with soft grass where you could see worms and spiders under your feet perfect, and even lizards sunning themselves on granite boulders. Perfect.

Amy Lane is a hit or miss for me, but the Johnnies series has been a huge hit when it comes to the first two books.

I was hopeful when I started this, that I would love it even half as much as the first, and boy did I. Dex and Kane were so completely sweet and complex.

I actually had to take a couple week break in reading this, and normally I lose a lot of interest or forget what is going on, but these two were just so imprinted in my mind that starting up again just went so smoothly.

And, the rarest of all things, I found myself thinking that I would definitely reread this again. (I don’t reread books much, I get bored knowing what is going to happen.)

So yeah, I think it’s safe to say that I loved it.

The cover art by Reese Dante is nice and cohesive with the first book while still having its own personality. I like the addition of the mountains, which speak to David’s roots. I’m not the biggest fan of the font used, but it’s a nice cover.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press* All Romance (ARe) Amazon Buy It here

*available in Paperback and audiobook

Book Details:

ebook, 350 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 30th 2012)
original titleDex in Blue
ISBN 1623800110 (ISBN13: 9781623800116)
edition languageEnglish
seriesJohnnies #2
charactersDavid “Dex” Worral, Carlos “Kane” Ramirez, Chase “Chance” Summers, Tommy “Tango” Halloran, Evan “Ethan” Costa
settingMontana
Sacramento, California (United States)

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Shy by John Inman ~ Audiobook narrated by Tommy O’Brien

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5audiobook clipart bw

ShyAUDMEDTom and Frank are both not only shy, they both suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder, so when they meet it seems like a match made in heaven and then they discover that they have so much more than their disorder in common. Their meeting had been set up by Jerry, Tom’s former boyfriend, and Stanley, Frank’s brother. Jerry had cheated on Tom with Stanley and later moved in with him so Tom wasn’t a big fan of either man, but he felt he could be helpful to the shy stranger coming from Indiana since he knew what it was like to suffer from SAD.

Frank came to California to “see the world” rather than remain on the farm where his dad, Joe, still lives. When he and Tom hit it off so well, and Frank even seemed to like Tom’s dog, Pedro (an incontinent Chihuahua), Tom invites Frank to stay with him. Frank’s dad checks in via phone from time to time, and he notices that his dad sounds ill, then he seems to get worse as a few weeks go by. When it’s evident that his dad needs help, the two decide to go out to Indiana to help him, a trip expedited by the fact that Jerry has called his boss with false information about Tom, resulting in him being fired from his job at the bank. It seems Jerry is not so enamored of drug-user Stanley anymore and wants to get back with Tom so this is his way of getting even for Tom’s rejection of his offer to return.

Life on the farm is much more difficult than Tom expects. First, there’s the cows, pigs, and chickens. Tom really hates chickens! And then there’s other farm animals and all the poop they all make. (There’s a lot of poop in this story!) Then there’s Samson, a huge boar who is absolutely vicious but remains the apple of Joe’s eye. Someday Joe’s going to sell him to a sideshow or circus so that he can be seen and appreciated as the fine specimen he is. In the meantime, he scares Tom so badly that Tom avoids him at all costs.

As Tom and Frank acclimate to farm life, Joe’s health deteriorates. Tom and Frank become more deeply committed to each other and Stanley shows up sniffing around to see what his dad will leave him in his will. From this point on, the story takes an interesting turn as Stanley forges ahead with his plans to get in on the inheritance.

I enjoyed this story with its subtle humor and outrageous view of life on a farm. The author’s quick wit is evident, but to be honest, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it rather than listen to the audiobook version. I did not care for the “voice” of the narrator, especially since there was little to distinguish the MC voices, words were mispronounced, stress was sometimes placed on the wrong syllables in a word or words in a sentence, thereby changing the meaning or tone, and the delivery of many of the lines which I believe were intended to be humorous felt flat.

The romance developed along anticipated lines, and Joe’s illness progressed at the pace foreseen, but the author gives us a whammy of a surprise conclusion when Stanley discovers a map to the will and pursues it with all his despicable zest for leaving Tom and Frank out of it. I’m not usually caught off guard or shocked by where an author takes us, but in this case, I was, and it was truly a unique ending in a sweet romance.

I would recommend this book to those who love a sweet and simple romance between two very shy MCs, humor in their stories—sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, a little bit of angst, and a completely unexpected ending. However, I would not necessarily recommend it as an audiobook—as I said, I didn’t care for the narration on this one.

Cover art by Paul Richmond is highly detailed, beautifully drawn, and is perfect for the story, depicting Tom’s antics on the farm with his animal charges as Frank watches with a smile on his face.

Audiobook Sales Links:   Audible   iTunes       Amazon    Buy it here

The eBook was previously reviewed here by MelanieM

Book Details:

Cover Artist Paul Richmond
Narrator Tommy O’Brien
Length 7 hours and 54 minutes

A Stella Review: Backwoods Asylum by Megan Derr

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

PrintSkylar is used to the way people think of him as frightening, mean, and dangerous. Snakes are not the most popular shifters around and the fact he grew up wild doesn’t help. He knows the way he’s chosen to live alone in the woods only makes things worse, but he didn’t think it meant people thought him capable of killing a couple of wolf puppies.

Determined to find the real monster who left them to die, Skylar calls up the only wolf he knows, a man he always wished would see him as more than a snake …

Backwoods Asylum is the first book in the Lost Shifters series by Megan Derr.

Skylar is a snake shifter and an editor. He spent the first twelve years of his life in his snake form. Then he was found by the Lost Shifters Foundation and adopted by a wonderful family. But he is still a solitary. He lives in the wood alone, when one night he wakes at the sound of crying wolf puppies that have been abandoned on his property. It is love at first sight, the two puppies (Hansel and Gretel) awake in him the desire to be a parent and Skylar creates with them a bond it will be really hard to break. But he needs help to find out who has abandoned this two cute shifters. Unfortunately the only wolf he knows, he’s the one who didn’t even like him.

Brady he’s a red wolf shifter; he and Skylar meet in college, both of them develop a crush on the other one, but at the time Skylar was trying to understand how to live in his human form and Brady was afraid to scare him. Now it’s the time to overcome a little misunderstanding and see if that crush is still hunting their hearts.
When people will start to think Skylar has kidnapped the puppies and killed them, Brady will be the one to help and protect him and the little ones.

I liked the shifters’ world the author created, nothing to complicated but nonetheless well developed, with some conflicts and mystery only outlined that I hope will be explained better in the next book.

For a book so short I think it was well done. As always, since I’m greedy, I would have liked just one more chapter to know what happened after the end.

What else can I say? Hansel and Gretel won my heart, I’m still fluttering in their cuteness.

If you’re looking for some steamy sex, forget about it, you’ll not find it in this book. What you surely will find is a funny and super sweet story, a quick reading and an easy plot, it will definitely lighten your heart.

Cover designed by London Burden. The cover shows the first part of the book, when the puppies are still alone and confused in the wood crying. It fit the story perfectly, but maybe I think I would have preferred to have Skylar in the cover too, cause when I think about Hansel and Gretel, Skylar is always with them. It would have been more perfect.

Sales Links:   Less Than Three Press   All Romance (ARe)     Amazon       <a href=”Buy It here

Book Details:

ebook, 60 pages
Published May 22nd 2013 by Less Than Three Press LLC (first published May 21st 2013)
original title Backwoods Asylum
ISBN139781620041987
edition languageEnglish
series Lost Shifters #1

In Our Book Spotlight: Bare Threads by D.P. Denman (contest)

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Bare Threads by DP Denman

Publisher: North Shore Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase

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About Bare Threads…

Liam is not a family man. He’s learned to avoid the entanglement and its mire of expectations; expectations he’s destined to crush. Unfortunately, his usually placid boyfriend is pushing him into the arms of his new family and he’s fighting every step. When a person he never expected to see again reappears, Liam finds a reason to make a few concessions for the sake of real love and the only man he is willing to call family.

Book four of the Saving Liam Series

Sales Links:   AmazonSmallBareThreads_1800x2700HiRes

Categories: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Series

Excerpt:

He nodded along annoyed by the reasonable advice and the situation. He didn’t like admitting it, but they were right. There was no reason to rush. He had just imagined coming home from the trip, unpacking his suitcase, falling to one knee, and having Liam in his arms laughing and crying and accepting his proposal. Meeting the family was supposed to tip the balance in his favor. As tempting as it was to blame the ill-timed conversation for Liam’s continued refusal, it wasn’t his parents’ fault.

Liam had a way of clinging. Waiting for him to change his mind was tradition in their relationship. He didn’t jump into things, not even the easy ones. Every new opportunity represented a threat. He thought the step from living together to marriage would be easy, but apparently, it took the same patience and careful persistence as everything else.

He ended the video chat seconds before Liam walked through the front door.

“I’m home.”

“In here,” he called back.

He heard the dull thump of sock-covered feet on the floor before Liam appeared sweaty and wearing a timid smile.

“Hi.”

“How was the workout?” He tried to shrug off the annoyance still thrumming across his forehead, threatening to burst into a headache.

“Good.” Liam stepped further into the room.

The tension between them rippled across his stomach. He didn’t want things to feel strained just because they couldn’t agree on how it would look when they celebrated their twentieth anniversary. They both wanted one. It was a good start.

“Come here.” He held out his hand and pulled Liam into his lap. “I’m sorry for pushing this marriage thing so hard.” He wrapped arms around him. “I want it but not enough to tear us apart trying to get it.”

“It’s my fault, too. I’m being a pain in the ass.”

He twitched a smile. “Stubborn is nothing new for you.”

“It’s not because I don’t want to be with you.”

“I know that.” He kissed Liam’s shoulder. “If I thought you planned to leave this would be a totally different conversation.” He looked up into Liam’s face, studying what he had already memorized. “I want to be with you for the rest of my life. You want to be with me for the rest of yours. That’s enough for now.”

“For now?” Liam cocked a challenging eyebrow.

“I’m not giving up on this.”

“I figured.”

“One day you’ll understand what I’m talking about and we’ll have a honeymoon so hot we’ll melt the sheets.”

Liam smiled. “If this is a ploy for hotter sex we can skip the ceremony and find some new tricks online. There must be a blog somewhere with decent ideas.”

“I’m sure there are several.”

Liam didn’t need any help being hot in bed. He had a great imagination, little inhibition, and thousands of hours of experience in porn. The only way things between them could get any hotter would be the first night he made love to his new husband, gold bands gleaming in the sunlight, and knew Liam was his.

Pages or Words: 63,000 words

Author Bio:

Award winning author DP Denman writes character-driven contemporary romance about gay men. Her stories are real and intense, but resolve in endings that make people want to read the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In her spare time, she is a dedicated LGBTQIA rights activist, fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBT charities.

Where to find the author:       http://pinterest.com/dpdenman

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $15 Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter using the Rafflecopter link provided.BTRC

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Tour Dates/Stops:

2-Feb

Bayou Book Junkie

Velvet Panic

Prism Book Alliance

3-Feb

Multitasking Mommas

Wake Up Your Wild Side

Inked Rainbow Reads

The Hat Party

4-Feb

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Love Bytes

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

5-Feb

MM Good Book Reviews

Molly Lolly

Rainbow Gold Reviews

6-Feb

BFD Book Blog

3 Chicks After Dark

Butterfly-O-Meter

Parker Williams

 

More Winning Announcements from Down Under

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Still more names coming, congratualtions to all, and thank you to our authors for their time and books:

Authors                                         Winners:

Christian Baines                           waxapplelover

Penny Brandon                             Julie Small

Pelaam                                          H. B.

Renae Kaye                                  Michael Thompson

N. R. Walker                                Lesi Koho

L. J. Harris                                   Serena