A MelanieM Review: Shadows and Ash (Pulp Friction 2014 Finale) by Laura Harner , Lee Brazil , Havan Fellows , T.A. Webb

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Shadows and Ash book coverNestled in the forest surrounding Flagstaff, Arizona, Mountain Shadows offers residents and guests a home and refuge. A year ago, the isolated retreat, with its log cabins and stone lodge, could boast a convalescing new owner, one employee, two long-term tenants, and an uncertain future. As others joined the rag-tag collection and made the hideaway their home, tentative beginnings morphed into friendships…and finally into a family of sorts.

Over this past year, the perfect place for hiding became a sanctuary for healing, as one-by-one the residents discovered that learning to live in the light with a family you choose is better than shrouding yourself in loneliness. But just as everyone seems to settle into a new normal, shadows from the past drag one of their members back into the darkness and the fallout threatens their carefully constructed new beginnings.

Now, the family they’ve created there must band together to protect each other from someone determined to destroy the lives they’ve worked so hard to reclaim.

Pulp Friction 2014. Four authors. Twenty-four books. One fiery finale.

The time has come once more to say  goodbye to another fantastic Pulp Friction Series and to say these authors did it with flare, heat and hot sexy men goes without question. I’m always amazed at how four authors are able to mesh eight (sometimes nine) characters, four couples stories, and still maintain a balanced whole in terms of plot and characterizations.  Yet, for the second year, the Pulp Friction gang has done it again.  Pulp Friction 2014 was the Elemental Connections year.  It had Laura Harner’s Fighting Fire, Lee Brazil’s In From the Cold, Havan Fellow’s Whispering Winds and T. A. Webb’s Earthquake series, with a wonderful conglomeration of characters, romances, and heartbreaking suspense.  And it all took place on top of a mountain outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Even now its hard to say which characters I love the most, they are so varied and had so many different paths to HEA this series.   Certainly Rowen Smith with his long black hair, deep connection to the woods around him and dark past,is close to the top.  He just resonated with me as did his eventual lover, Mick Rutger, who went from the human equivalent of a Golden Retriever to something older, wiser, and more substantial.  How I loved them both (thank you, Havan Fellows).

But I can no more say that then Charlie Turner and Amos Greene pop into mind (thank you, Tom Webb).  Their journey towards happiness contained stark terror, abject pain, and astonishing revelations.  Webb kept me in tears and in the dark for long periods of time during the slow roll out of his Earthquake stories.    You never knew if monster or angel would be around the  corner for these two along with  Charlie’s brother Damon (loved him too).   Sometimes the heartbreak comes from the last person you would expect, another theme that runs through all the stories here.

Brazil’s Professor of Literature Finn Lorensson and Dr. Cannon Malloy (originally from FR2013, thank you, Lee Brazil) were sometimes the hardest personalities for me to get a grasp on.  Finn, a gorgeous hulk of a man had a deep need to rescue others, even at the cost to himself and his relationships.  Cannon?  To say he started off self absorbed, fearful and more than a little damaged by the events in Atlanta would be like calling coal black.  It goes without saying that Finn was smitten immediately, but Cannon?  Not so much.  During much of the series their tentative relationship acted more like Dr. Doolittle’s pushmi-pullyu. They were joined together but never quite going (or facing) the same direction.  I loved that Cannon finally learned to embrace his sexuality (with a little eyeliner and flare) and accept Finn with all that entailed.

Finally there is Laura Harner’s former firefighter  Scott McGregor reuniting with his college lover,Robby Hammond, at Scott’s hospital bed.  A wildfire that ends Scott’s career and costs the life of most of his team is also what brings Scott’s only love back to him.  Harner made us believe in their tortured past so the reader easily invests in these damaged men and any potential hope for a future together.  So much trauma involved here, Scott’s PTSD, his injuries and loss of career, survivor’s guilt and yes, more secrets from his and Robby’s past pushing hard to come out.  Plus its Scott’s Mountain Shadows Campground that acts as the heart and location for all these stories to unfold.  I came to love Mountain Shadows just as much as its residents did.  If there was a heart and center of all the couples it was Scott and Robby. They are the beginning of a new family and I loved them dearly (thank you, Laura Harner).

The penultimate stories in each series came with a certain amount of personal (or physical) explosions and exposition leading up to this.  A mystery of who was behind all the arson and attacks happening at the campgrounds had to be solved, along with more than a few personal demons still to be put to rest, including Scott being blamed for the fires himself.  How did it all turn out?  Splendidly!

It’s hard seeing this group of stories come to an end.  I wasn’t ready.  But all the characters pull their dramatic weight in the last story. Each author gives their couple the right amount of “time on stage” to tie up loose ends and push them forward.  I did wish that one little aspect, a total villain dies in a manner that didn’t feel as solid as the other revelations that surfaced here.  That was the only bit of weakness that I could see.  Everything else felt believable, rational, and happily fulfilling for all.

Am I going to go into details?  No, absolutely not.  Even the smallest of facts can lead to large spoilers, so don’t go looking for them here.  Instead if you are new to the Pulp Friction gang, what joys await you.  You have not one but two years of interconnected series to catch up on.  The first took place in Atlanta GA, the second (Elemental Connections) in Flagstaff, AZ, and the third?  This years Pulp Friction 2015 is a group of supernatural tales taking place in New Orleans in Harner and Webb’s  Altered States universe.  What’s that, you say?  Well stay tuned as next week, all the Pulp Friction gang will be here to talk finale, Altered States, and the new stories starting to arrive.

For those of you who have been gobbling up these stories as quickly as they come out, you will love this series finale!  It’s hot, suspenseful, a little scary and wonderfully over the top…of the mountain, that is.  I loved it and think you will too.  Grab it up and get prepared for the supernatural goings on in New Orleans.  I’m through the first story already and it’s a doozy!

Cover art by Laura Harner is perfect. It still brands the series with the logo and the coloring and graphics are perfect for the series finale and title.

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published January 14th 2015 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN139781937252977
edition languageEnglish

About Pulp Friction 2014 – All stories are reviewed here at STRW.

Pulp Friction 2014 Authors: Laura Harner ~ Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ T.A. Webb
The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends.
The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment. The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1)by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Whispering Winds: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb

Round Two:
Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by TA Webb

Round Three:
Backburn (Fighting Fire #3) by Laura Harner
Cold Feet (In From the Cold #3) by Lee Brazil
Blown Hard (Whispering Winds #3) by Havan Fellows
Tremors (Earthquake #3) by T.A. Webb

Round Four:
Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner
Out In The Cold (In From the Cold #4) by Lee Brazil
Blown Chance (Whispering Winds #4) by Havan Fellows
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) by T.A. Webb

Round Five:
Radiant Burn (Fighting Fire #5) by Laura Harner
Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) by Lee Brazil
Final Blow (Whispering Winds #5) by Havan Fellows
Terra Firma (Earthquake #5) by T.A. Webb

Sixth Book Series Finale Written by all the Authors coming in December.
Shadows and Ash (Pulp Friction 2014 Finale)

Side Stories or Interludes:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)
Wicked Winds (Whispering Winds 3.5) by Havan Fellows – bonus book, Whispering Winds
Frankie’s Knight (Elemental Connections: IV) (Earthquake #3.5)
Kismet & Cartwheels – bonus book, Fighting Fire

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: All in the Details by A.K.M. Miles

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

All In The Details coverAs this sweet romance opens we meet Beau Garner , a 31 year old man who has put his OCD into making a profit by running an event organizing company called Details. “It’s all in the details” claims Beau over and over again throughout the book. (Though meant to be humorous, it falls short after a while.) A last minute detail takes him to a rural convenience store to buy balloons, and besides being nearly sideswiped by a speeding vehicle roaring out of the parking lot as he enters, he’s also blindsided by finding a gun under a display case and then finding himself at the mercy of the police who’ve been called to “disarm” him. He only grabbed the gun when he heard two young children debating whether or not to pick it up, and as he tells the officers, “Do I look like the type of man who would have a gun?”, he catches the eye of the young good-looking cop.

Nash Tyler is a 31 year old cop in this rural town. He’s gay, and though his captain is aware, it’s not the type of thing he advertises to the rest of his co-workers. He’s a good cop, however, and he gives the cute guy with the gun a break and listens to his full story at the store, rather than haul him to the station as his homophobic partner wants to do. Since the situation is easily resolved, Beau is released but not before he notices Nash’s blushes as he hands Beau his card in case Beau needs to get in touch with him.

This is a sweet, slow-building romance that’s very family focused. Beau lives with Alberta, his grandmother’s friend and companion, a black woman who would prefer not to live with her own family and who cares for Beau as if he were her own child. The main excitement and undercurrent to the story is an apparent stalker who is randomly harassing Beau. That starts with phone calls then goes to being shot at with rock salt as he and Nash are soaking in his hot tub, to having faggot painted on his car then escalating to acts which could result in injury or death. Readers know who the likely stalker is from the beginning, but the action doesn’t culminate until the end of the book.

Another odd thing that happens, which is totally non-reality based, is that Beau helps a young woman at the airport as she’s trying to decide what to do about her fatherless infant, and she ends up leaving the infant in the restroom with a note turning him over to Beau. He then gets through the foster process and is given the baby that night—a baby that he will ultimately adopt as his and Nash’s at some point in the future. Most of the second half of the story was about the baby and integrating the baby into their lives as he and Nash became closer romantically, and their stalker became increasingly more dangerous.

There was little in this story to make it outstanding for me in any way, yet it was well-written and was a sweet romance so I’d recommend it to those who are looking for something simple and family-oriented with not a lot of sex but a lot of love.

Cover Art by Winterheart Design features two men representing the characters. The cop is superimposed over the cute guy who depicts Beau in such a way that it’s evident the cover was cropped together and looks amateurish. It’s not as appealing as one that would have blended the two characters without the overlap like the cover used in the previous edition.

Sales Links:    MLR Press           All Romance (ARe)       Amazon          <a href=”Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published January 29th 2015 by ManLove Romance
(first published April 27th 2013 by Silver Press)
ASINB00SXN3PNA
edition languageEnglish

A Mika Review: Mauled (Guards of Folsom #4.5, Beyond Duty #2) by S.J.D. Peterson

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Rating: 3.75 rounded up to 4 stars out of 5

Mauled coverGunther Duchene aka “Gunny” and Macalister Jones aka “Mac” have overcome the obstacles of coming out and retiring from serving more than twenty years as Marines. Their exit ceremony is behind them, their wedding vows are made, and now it’s time for the honeymoon. What better way to kick off their marriage than enjoying the retirement gift Mac gave Gunny? With the leather pants and collar packed, it’s off to New York City and the Guards of Folsom club to celebrate—BDSM style.

I was super thrilled to read anything more of Mac & Gunny. I loved these two so much. I love reading about older guys with established relationships. While I did love reading about these two, and I know the premise of this novella I wish I could gotten more out of these two. I loved this relationship in this book. Mac & Gunny were super in love. It is simple to see how these guys feel about each other, that they and their relationship is the more essential factor than playing in the other roles. It just feel right and was very believable. I really enjoyed this book. I would have loved for more Mac & Gunny relationships.

Cover Art by Paul Richmond. I loved this cover it definitely showed Gunny in a light that he likes. It beautifully done.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 67 pages
Published February 4th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Mauled
ISBN139781632161758
edition languageEnglish
url http://sjdpeterson.blogspot.com/
series Guards of Folsom #4.5, Beyond Duty #2
charactersMacalister Jones aka “Mac”, Gunther Duchene aka

A Sammy Review: The Wrong Man (Right and Wrong #2) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I couldn’t begin to make sense of Jake Westley’s unexpected reappearance after twelve years. It was like a cameo appearance in the sitcom of life, I thought. But why him? Why now? On television, those comebacks were made for a reason. Real life made no fucking sense.

The Wrong man coverBrandon Good is cruising through life. He’s the owner of a successful interior design store, has great friends, and yeah, maybe he’s boyfriendless, but that will all work itself out. Except fate has a twisted way of making things work. Like having Brandon be tricked into dog sitting an old lab with health issues, and then finding out that the owner of the charming dog is none other than a flash from his past, and a marker of things that will never be.

Their friendship isn’t intentional, but Mack, that old lab that Brandon finds himself desperately falling for, draws them together. Brandon doesn’t understand the game fate is playing with him, but maybe there is such a thing as second chances.

I’d never felt smaller or more aware of the fragility of the human condition than I did in that moment. Life was short. It was special. It certainly was not to be wasted. Pride and fear were weaknesses of the human condition. I was suddenly more determined than ever to set them aside and be someone better, stronger, and a fuck of a lot braver.

Dearest Lane Hayes,

You should know that you made me smile and laugh, and toward the end, in the most unexpected of ways, you completely wrecked me. But I’m okay with that.

Sincerely,

Sam.

So, here’s the thing. There are a few things in this world that I am a complete sucker for, and one of them is, and will always be, dogs. Mack added a whole other dimension to this book that otherwise would’ve been a nice novel of second chances. With him, everything felt so much deeper to me. Now that might sound crazy, but I’ve never hidden my extensive love for all things furry.

One thing that I really appreciated about this book is the thought that was put into where Brandon and Jake were in their lives. This wasn’t a second chance for the sake of having one, but it seemed like the author thought about the timing of it all, and made things fall into place. It wasn’t just about moving forward with a new chapter of their lives, but it was also about letting go and moving on. The past wasn’t simply forgotten or pushed away like a dangling piece of the plot, it was handled with grace.

Jake and Brandon were more than just good together, it felt like they were truly meant for each other – made only for the other. It’s hard to make a reader feel that, but I did.

As for the side characters, they were great, just as they were in the first book. They didn’t take over the story, but they added to this one. One thing I can say is that I would’ve liked to see more of Nate and how he came to feel about Brandon and Jake. He seemed like such an important character to Jake, but we didn’t really get to see the growth there, and that made me a bit disappointed.

And Mack, back to Mack, because really, I can’t help myself. A year ago in May I lost my baby girl (dog). When the author explained the process of Mack slowing down, of life wearing on him, and then the fear that Brandon felt witnessing it – it felt so real, because it is. That is so true to how it feels to watch an animal you love age and know you can’t do anything to slow it down. Now, my other dog is getting older, and he’s much larger. I see that he’s slower getting up, and the worry consumes me some days. The author did a beautiful job of showing that, but also the acceptance that you really have to come to in that situation, and making the best of the time you have.

Lane Hayes is quickly becoming a favorite, and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Alex have a story, or any other character she wants to give us. This was a really great book, and I’m grateful for experiencing it.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is very pretty. I appreciate the color palette, as it fits the feeling of the story and flows very well together. Having the dog in the background is perfect, and while I’m not too sure about the random naked chest thrown in there, I can’t really complain. In general, a nice cover.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback        All Romance (ARe)     Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Published February 6th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleThe Wrong Man
ISBN139781632167828
edition languageEnglish
url https://lanehayes.wordpress.com/tag/the-wrong-man/
seriesRight and Wrong #2

On Tour with Ansleigh’s Grotto by JT Cheyanne (contest)

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Synopsis

Dylan Matthews lives in a world of fantasy. As a video game designer, there are no limits on how far or wide his imagination could stretch. He loves his work and excels at bringing the visions in his head to a game console. The luck of his Irish heritage seems to touch him when his prototype Zombie ApoXalypse is bought days after he inherits a mansion in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. Life is indeed magical.

Ansleigh has waited centuries for one man, only to find him and then lose him due to his own inability to trust in their burgeoning love. The magick of Mother Earth flows within him and through him allowing him to nourish the Grotto where he makes his home. Yet, he yearns for the male that nurtures his soul. When the whims of Fate bring his Cosantoir back into his life, does he have the courage to accept his heritage?

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As the fantasies in his head become reality and the monsters of nightmares crawl through the forest, can Dylan forgive broken promises to protect the Croi? There is no pause button when the Fae and human worlds collide. Will Dylan have what it takes to master the maze and win Ansleighís freedom?

Excerpt

Moonlight streamed through the leaf canopy. Silence met his ears. No animal noises skittered through the underbrush, even the leaves seemed frozen as if in anticipation. Was someone out there? He spun on his heel slowly. Something about this place tugged at him. There was something he was missing, but what?

“Hello?” He called, feeling foolish. When no answer came back, he rolled his eyes, shrugged at his own silliness and turned back in the direction of the house.

“Are you looking for someone in particular?” The low melodious voice stopped him in his tracks. Discreetly, Dylan pinched himself and the sharp sting confirmed he was definitely awake and someone had just spoken to him in the middle of the forest. Slowly, he twisted back around. The eyes from the earlier fleeting memory captured him. The ache in his chest intensified as they stared at each other.

His memory had been dead on about the eyes. They were so blue they seemed to glow in the moonlight. Laugh lines bracketed them and slim eyebrows arched perfectly above them. Cheekbones any male model would appreciate gave way to lean cheeks. His face was longish with a squared, firm jaw. Full lips curved into a half smile. Reddish brown dark hair fell past his shoulders and brushed the top of his ass.

The bare chest gave Dylan pause; beautifully sculpted muscle and lots of bare tan skin. Broad shoulders topped smooth and well defined pecs, a perfect six pack and the most magnificent oblique vee he’d seen in a long time. Bare feet peeked from beneath loose fitting cotton pants. Dylan’s body stirred. The man’s head tilted to the side just a fraction, but enough to pull Dylan’s gaze back up. He’d guess six-four or six-five. The man had asked a question. Dylan’s brain slowly kicked into gear.

“Uh, no. Just taking a walk. I thought someone…” was watching me. He didn’t finish the sentence aloud. “Are you lost? The National Park is in the other direction.” The intense gaze didn’t falter, but Dylan swore a pained look crossed the other man’s face.

“How have you been, Dylan? It’s been a long time.” While the voice seemed to sink inside of his skin and soothe, the use of his name set off all kinds of alarms.

“I’ve been…how do you know my name? Have we met before?” Dylan took a step back. Of course they’d met. He remembered the guy’s eyes, the hair. “Do you work up at the house?”

He’d been there for two days; albeit, stuck in his room most all of that time. Maybe he’d passed the room where Dylan was working. “You seem familiar.”

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SPHC5OE/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00SPHC5OE/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00SPHC5OE/

Barned & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ansleighs-grotto-jt-cheyanne/1121152861?ean=2940046551877

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ansleighs-grotto/id963959627?mt=11

Giveaway

4 ecopies of Ansleigh’s Grotto by JT Cheyanne.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contest and link provided by Eyes On Books tour.  Prizes will be awarded by them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

100#1 Best Selling Author of Grand Slam, J.T. Cheyanne is a genre crosser who writes romance and paranormal in the m/m and m/f genres. J.T. Cheyanne resides in the beautiful state of Alabama. J.T. lives with her two sons and daughter. An avid reader since fourth grade, she has only just started writing her own stories. She also has several works published with her co-author, V.L. Moon.

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