A Stella Review: A Fighting Man (Men of Manhattan #3) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Fighting Man coverArmy Ranger Slater Cassidy has a very special – very sexy – target in his sights. Meeting gorgeous, smart, uber-snarky Casper Kennedy was the highlight of Slater’s last trip home to New York. The soldier in him carefully plans his conquest. Unfortunately, Casper’s wearing some seriously strong armor and Slater’s charm offensives bounce right off. Casper’s refusal to fall for him is puzzling – not to mention incredibly annoying. When Slater gets leave again after grueling back-to-back tours in Afghanistan, all he wants is another shot at wooing Casper. He jumps right into the battle for the other man’s heart, but Casper does not intend to entertain the troops.

A heartbreaking revelation changes the rules of romantic warfare, and Slater suddenly realizes he doesn’t just want Casper. He wants to capture his heart, too.

 Casper Kennedy is fighting a losing battle. A certain outrageously demonstrative Army Ranger has been a thorn in his side since his last trip home – and the main character in his steamiest dreams. Now he’s back. He launches an all-out sensual assault and no matter how hard Casper pushes Slater away, the man somehow manages to inch closer. So close, in fact, that Casper’s once-impenetrable defenses are in danger of collapsing. Should he throw up the white flag and take a chance at love? Or start firing back and keep his heart protected? When the handsome Ranger shows his true colors, Casper just might have to surrender the fight

A Fighting Man is the third book in the Men of Manhattan series. You can’t help but love this series. These books are all well written and the characters (main and second ones) are so enjoyable and well depicted, I had the feeling of knowing them forever.

Casper Kennedy is a 25-year old administrative assistant. He lost his lover, Mason, three years ago, they were engaged when Mason died in the field. He’s still missing Mason badly, so it’s hard to him to fall for the stubborn Sergeant that has his eyes on Casper.

Slater Cassidy is an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, and from the first time he saw Casper, he knew he had to have the man. Now is coming home on leave for a month. Can it be enough to conquer Casper? He will try everything, from sending him a fake police officer to made a striptease, to a serenade with the Casper film’s theme song.

After losing Mason, Carter is afraid to fall in love again, specially with a military guy, but thanks to an ad campaign and a little jealousy, Slater is slowly making his way into Casper’s life. Will Casper surrender to Slater?

As I already said at the start on this review I really loved this book. First of all it’s a funny and easy reading, I particularly liked the dialogue parts, they were fast paced and entertaining. The double POV use is my fave, cause I need to know what goes through my characters’ mind and in this case, seeing them both struggle with their feeling till almost the end and overcome their fears was heartbreaking and hard to watch without being able to hug and reassure them, but so worth it.

Some parts were really emotional, I’m thinking for example at the family aspect in this story. I ached for Casper, he was very unlucky with families. His parents don’t speak with him since he came out, Mason’s family didn’t even let him know Mason was dead. Finally he has found a new family in Slater’s mum, Raquel,(she rocks!) and in Blaine and Spencer.

There’s a great support cast, funny and strong as Casper and Slater. I can see more couple in the future books.

Highly recommended!

Cover artist by Wilde City Press. Nothing special in this cover and all the others in this series. They are nice to look at but nothing more.

Sales Links:   Wilde City Press     All Romance (ARe)     Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 103 pages
Published May 7th 2014 by Wilde City Press
ISBN139781925180022
edition languageEnglish
seriesMen of Manhattan #3

 

The Men of Manhattan Series:

  • A Betting Man (Men of Manhattan, #1)
  • A Marrying Man (Men of Manhattan, #2)
  • A Fighting Man (Men of Manhattan, #3)
  • A Working Man (Men of Manhattan, #4)
  • A Healing Man (Men of Manhattan, #5)

A Mika Review: The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton

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Rating: 4 star out of 5 stars

The Lion and the Crow coverIn medieval England, duty is everything, personal honor is more valued than life itself, and homosexuality is not tolerated by the church or society. 

Sir Christian Brandon was raised in a household where he was hated for his unusual beauty and for his parentage. Being smaller than his six brutish half-brothers, he learned to survive by using his wits and his gift for strategy, earning him the nickname the Crow. 

Sir William Corbett, a large and fierce warrior known as the Lion, has pushed his unnatural desires down all his life. He’s determined to live up to his own ideal of a gallant knight. When he takes up a quest to rescue his sister from her abusive lord of a husband, he’s forced to enlist the help of Sir Christian. It’s a partnership that will test every strand of his moral fiber, and, eventually, his understanding of the meaning of duty, honor, and love.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. I love a good historic fiction book. I laughed, cried, and was over excited by the adventures of Sir William & Sir Christian. This was a short novella, which I wish could have turned into a full length novel. Both guys were extremely resilient with the situation that this rescue turned into. Christian had to have strong body armor to grow up in a family like his. He was the 7th son and you can say the black sheep of the family. Through in some homosexuality in this time frame and all he needed was instant death. Goodness, no one treated him with respect or care until William showed up in the picture. William… I felt bad for him at first, because he had no clue what he was getting into by allowing Christian to accompany him. I found myself swooning at times of Christian trying to find way of appeasing William, and vice versa of William looking out for Christian as well as giving praise where praise was due. I really enjoyed it. That ending though, I cried so much. I mean I understand it but damn it was such a beautiful bow wrapped up for people.

Cover Artist by Maria Fanning. This cover totally goes hand in hand with the book. Its knights, jostles, horses, adventures, and hosing material. The cover model was a gorgeous version of William loved it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press   All Romance (ARe)    Amazon    Buy it Here

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition
Published January 19th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 1st 2013)
ISBN139781627985451
edition languageEnglish
seriesLove Has No Boundaries, Don’t Read in the Closet Eve

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review of Take Heart by Willa Okati

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Rating; 2.5 stars out of 5

takeheart_exlarge_PNG-210x336Dr Brendan West arrives at St. Hawk’s Medical Center for two reasons: first, because he’s onboard as a temp in the ER to cover for another doctor on leave, and second, because he’s heard great things about this area— stories that made him feel that there’s a charm to the town that brings good things to good people. He starts to feel the peace and serenity of the area and enjoy the charm of the town but is afraid to jump in wholeheartedly because he knows his time here is only temporary.

He meets Evan, a heart transplant patient who’s there for an annual checkup and is immediately attracted, then disappointed that Evan is taken when his partner, Griff, walks in. Griff is sending signals that Brendan is afraid he might be misinterpreting. He feels Griff checking him out but that couldn’t be—because he and Evan are a couple, aren’t they? It turns out that Griff and Evan have been known to take on a third over the years and they would like Brendan to join them for a night, or more, of ménage. He finally takes them up on their offer, and it’s more than he could have hoped for. They want him to stay permanently, but he’s sets his boundaries knowing he’s going to be leaving. The story is mostly about that push-pull struggle to decide what to do, i.e. self-inflicted angst as Brendan hovers between wanting to commit to them and wanting to stay detached.

It’s hard to put into words why this story didn’t grab me, but the easiest way to describe it is that it was as if I went to see a movie where the characters spoke quietly in short, staccato sentences, grunts, and mumbles, and the videographer set the scene too dark to be able to make out which characters were speaking, and then to top it all off, it was hard to see what they were actually doing at the time. I had to reread passages and entire pages multiple times to verify who was speaking. I also had trouble visualizing exactly what position each character was in during the sex scenes, but that may have been complicated by the fact that I wasn’t sure who was speaking so it was just hard to imagine. And why have a sex scene if the reader can’t visualize it?

There were many secondary characters in the story so I kept expecting that some action would take place with them, but they either weren’t important to the story or the interaction didn’t take place on page. One example is Brendan’s boss, Dr. Gabriel. We see him outside of office hours but the “important meeting” he’s supposed to have with Brendan is glossed over in that scene. Most men in the story were apparently gay as well, so perhaps the author was introducing characters who will be featured in future installments of this St. Hawk’s Medical Center series.

And my last issue is that I never really understood why Evan and Griff felt that Brendan was so different that they wanted to make the offer to join them permanent. They certainly had no reason to do so from the beginning since they really didn’t even know him at first, and they had previously played with other men in a threesome, so why he was special just didn’t seem to make sense. Perhaps if the author had filled in more on their background or indicated in some way that they had been searching for a permanent third for a long time, it would have made a bit more sense when they got together with him.

The more I write this review, the more I realize that it feels like I’m trying to remember details of a fuzzy dream, and they aren’t coming to me. I’m going to assume that’s because of my above description of how difficult it was to follow the storyline. So I’ll just end the review by saying that if you love ménage, you might like this, but it’s not something that I would recommend to others looking for a romance novel with a strong storyline.

Cover Art by Posh Gosh depicts a handsome, bare-chested man with a scenic landscape background. Although the cover is attractive, it does not depict details of the story.

Sales Links:  Totally Bound Books    All Romance (ARe)   Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

Novella, word count: 34341
ISBN: 9781784303891
eBook
genres: gay, menage, contemporary, series

St. Hawk’s Medical Series:

  • Take Heart
  • Give Chase

A Closer Look at Alex Beecroft and Trowchester Blues (contest)

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Trowchester Blues cover

 Trowchester Blues by Alex Beecroft

Here today is Alex Beecroft talking about Trowchester Blues, the first in a new series and one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’ highly recommended reads.  Here Alex is talking a little bit about why England as a setting…

I’ve answered so many questions and written so many blog posts about this book that I’ve got to admit I’m running out of things to say, so I’m going to start plundering the questions people have asked me already.

In an early interview, I think with Riptide for their featured author spot, I was asked “Why do you choose to set your books in England?” I gave a short answer there, but I’ve got more to say, so I’m going to flesh it out a bit here.

The first factor, of course, is the simple requirement to “Write what you know.” When I write historicals or fantasies, that part isn’t really important. I imagine things hard, or I do as much research as I can, and – and this is the crucial thing – nobody else knows any better. So I can write whatever I like and nobody can say ‘pah, what do you know?’

But in contemporary life, if I wanted to write a story set in the USA, there would be thousands of people who knew that setting better than me. I’d be working from research and imagination, they’d be working from a knowledge that had settled into them over a lifetime. How could I, a stranger, ever draw a portrait of a location that was anything but a shallow veneer compared to the reality experienced by someone who actually lives there, someone who knows what the nights smell like, and how the dust on the pavements (sidewalks) squeaks under the shoe.

Much better to choose a setting that I know that intimately, so that when my editor says “You’ve said he left his sledgehammer ‘in’ the porch. Don’t you mean ‘on’ the porch?” I can reply “No. The kind of thing you call a porch we call a verandah. “This is a porch in the UK.

If I set a novel in the UK then suddenly I am the one who has a lifetime’s experience with the mores, assumptions and unstated expectations that rule the characters’ lives. As Oscar Wilde says, Britain and America are two great nations separated by a common language, but we’re also separated by different assumptions and cultures. Fifty Shades of Grey, from what I’ve heard, is written by a Brit who doesn’t really understand how the culture in the US works, and it shows. (Her characters wear dressing gowns instead of robes, and make cups of tea for visiting workmen, which is de rigueur over here but I hear is not done in the US.)

Plus, I know what the evening sunlight looks like on the Peaks, and I’ve experienced the intimidating unassailable politeness of your average policeman, and I have tasted the food, and attempted to hold my own in the relentless banter of your average pub, and I know whereof I speak.

All of that aside, why not set a story in the UK? It’s not the done thing to say so – patriotism is considered a bit suspicious in Britain, a bit vulgar and worrisome, as if it’s a sign that you’re also a closet UKIP member – but I kind of like my country. Admittedly, I don’t know any better, because I’ve never lived anywhere else. But although I hated London, as soon as I moved out into the countryside I felt like I’d come home.

Do you watch Miss Marple? With the gossipy neighbours in their beautiful, twee little villages. Murder, surrounded by dahlias? Those twee little villages actually do exist still. The churches and the ancient monuments, the landscape covered in ruins and history, the summer fetes in which the local vicar has to award a prize for the grower of the best marrow? It’s all true. And having plunged myself into that lifestyle eagerly and discovered the joys of the yearly agricultural shows, harvest festival, Plough Monday and the pagan weirdness of things like the “Straw Bear Festival”, I wanted to celebrate the charming eccentricity and the continued survival of that way of life.Straw Bear Festival

Variety is the spice of life, after all. And despite our reputation for the blandest food on the surface of the earth, you can’t go into a UK curry house and not realize that we also love our spice. There’s a lot to be explored in a country where the accent and the culture can change completely within five miles. Who better to explore it than someone who’s lived it all of their lives?

About Trowchester Blues:

Michael May is losing it. Long ago, he joined the Metropolitan Police to escape his father’s tyranny and protect people like himself. Now his father is dead, and he’s been fired for punching a suspect. Afraid of his own rage, he returns to Trowchester—and to his childhood home, with all its old fears and memories. When he meets a charming, bohemian bookshop owner who seems to like him, he clings tight.

Fintan Hulme is an honest man now. Five years ago, he retired from his work as a high class London fence and opened a bookshop. Then an old client brings him a stolen book too precious to turn away, and suddenly he’s dealing with arson and kidnapping, to say nothing of all the lies he has to tell his friends. Falling in love with an ex-cop with anger management issues is the last thing he should be doing.

Finn thinks Michael is incredibly sexy. Michael knows Finn is the only thing that still makes him smile. But in a relationship where cops and robbers are natural enemies, that might not be enough to save them.

See more here at Riptide Publishing.  And you can follow the tour here.

About Alex Beecroft…

Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City Paper, LA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.

Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.

She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.

Connect with Alex:
Website: alexbeecroft.com
Blog: alexbeecroft.com/blog
Facebook: facebook.com/AlexBeecroftAuthor
Twitter: @Alex_Beecroft
Goodreads: goodreads.com/Alex_Beecroft

Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Alex Beecroft’s backlist (excepting Trowchester Blues). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 15. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

TrowchesterBlues_TourBanner

It’s Cover Reveal Time for Lissa Kasey’s “Inheritance”! (contest)

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EMBanner300x250

Its time to peel back the curtain and check out the gorgeous cover for Lissa Kasey’s “Inheritance”!

Cover Reveal for Inheritance (Dominion #1) by Lissa Kasey
Release Date: March 3, 2015

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Author Lissa Kasey Bio:

Lissa Kasey lives in St. Paul, MN, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, and collects Asian Ball Joint Dolls who look like her characters. She has three cats who enjoy waking her up an hour before her alarm every morning and sitting on her lap to help her write. She can often be found at Anime Conventions masquerading as random characters when she’s not writing about boy romance.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lissa.kasey
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLissaKasey
Twitter: parisbvamp
Other: google.com/+LissaKasey

Publisher: Lissa Kasey
Cover Artist: Simone Hendricks

Sales Links:  Amazon

About Inheritance…amazon-Inheritance

Seiran Rou’s life is complicated—he’s the only male in the world allowed to take magic classes in a female-dominant society, his vampire boyfriend, Gabe, is hinting that he wants more, and his mother is demanding a grandchild. But when a co-worker turns up dead on his doorstep, Seiran realizes his problems are only beginning.

With the police dogging his steps, a stalker-like bartender watching his every move, and a magic groupie following him around, Seiran is finding it hard to hide his power—a power that if revealed could get him killed. The Dominion, the ruling body of elemental magic, seems to have started a deadly game to control the rare magic he possesses.

Someone is pulling strings, murdering witches, and gathering power. When Seiran finds himself next on the hit list, he doesn’t know whether to run and hide or prove himself to be the powerful witch he is. If he stands up and fights, he’ll have to decide what is more important—hiding his power or protecting the ones he loves.
Categories: Alternate Universe, Contemporary, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Inheritance Excerpt:

Professor Wrig gestured to the stump. “Seiran, if you will demonstrate, please?”

Rose looked like she’d swallowed a lemon. “I can show them how it’s done, Professor,” she said.

“I’m sure you can, Miss Pewette. However, I already asked Mr. Rou.”

I took a deep breath and stepped up to the stump, wondering if I was allowed to actually focus with the earth this time. “Can I kneel?” I asked Wrig quietly.

“Whatever you feel is necessary.”

I knelt and waited for instructions.

Professor Wrig explained, “As Mr. Rou is showing you, he is putting himself in close contact with his element. He will be pulling power from the earth. Should he accidentally pull too much, he can give it back without causing damage to us or the surrounding area. He will take the time he needs to focus his power, and then he will place his hands to the stump. All witches with a measurable level will make something grow. A level one will produce moss or ivy. A level two will create flowers or even a small bud of a new tree. His level is set by what grows. Whenever you’re ready, Seiran.”

“Try not to kill any of us,” Rose sneered from behind me.

I sighed, closed my eyes, and left all their scattered whispering behind. It didn’t matter that Rose didn’t shut up or that Blond Hair looked at me like he was imagining what sex with me would be like. The earth and I knew each other well. I let it flow through me, like I was nothing more than a pebble in a lake to be shaped and guided by it. Each breath brought renewed life. I set my hands to the stump, remembering the last time, when I’d made wildflowers burst forth from the dead tree. This time I didn’t even look. The earth would grow what it wanted to with me as its conduit.

The power flowed through me in natural peaks and waves. The crowd gasped. The wood shifted and moved beneath my hands. I let the earth move as it wanted until the final wave subsided. Letting go, I opened my eyes and stared at a giant oak tree, leaves growing to a rich, vibrant green. No wildflowers this time. I smiled at the tree and patted its strong, new trunk, which split the old stump in half.

“Very good, Mr. Rou,” Professor Wrig told me. She offered me a hand up. I stood, dusted off my pants, and went to the back of the line. “Next,” she said.

And so began the testing.


Pages or Words: 65,000 words
EMBadgeTour Dates: February 13, 2015

Parker Williams, Rainbow Gold Reviews Inked Rainbow Reads, My Fiction Nook, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Lee Brazil, Divine Magazine, Christy Loves 2 Read, 

Bending The Bookshelf, Multitasking Mommas, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Velvet Panic

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One of three print copies. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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