A Stella Review: Lucky Seven by E.L. Esch


Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Lucky Seven book cover

Dante Mathers, college student, fifth year, has a track record for being dishonest with himself, and is about to undergo the biggest, scariest change of his life.

Dante’s forced himself to go out with girls in the past and he does it again when he’s approached by the beautiful Serena one day on campus, desperate to prove to himself that he’s “normal.” But when he loses a drinking contest and is dared to go to the next campus GLBT meeting by his best friend, he’s not sure how to handle it. Sure he could blow it off and say he went, but something nagging at the back of his mind compels him to go anyway. After all, he’s had problems with intimacy in the past and his first crush was a boy in high school. But is he really forcing himself to go, or is he finally starting to be honest with himself? No need to over think this, Dante tells himself. It’ll be get in, get out. No need to talk to anyone. Easy, right?

But then he meets Sven. Sexy, toned, wearing a leather jacket with spiked up bleach-blond hair, Sven’s bad-boy flare sticks out on campus and catches Dante’s eye. But there’s more to Sven than his punkish looks, and Dante’s about to find out all the sultry little details.

Lucky Seven was a lovely surprise. It’s an easy book to read, with low angst. I liked it a lot, even if usually I’m not a huge fan of YA/New Adult books because I honestly prefer to read about characters surer of themselves and their feelings without all that clumsiness we usually find in the younger ones.

I liked Dante and Sven story because it felt like a real one, full of fears and insecurity, and at the end I loved their courage. They’re both so shy and miserable, but so brave and sensitive. Especially Sven, too shy to approach and flirt with guys, but bold enough to fight against the bullies and defend himself and his grandpa’s garden. Dante, instead, is finally understanding that it’s time to stop being in denial and admit he’s gay. He needs to realize he has a beautiful family and friends to support and accept him as he is.  Even if there is a lot going on in the MCs’ life (Sven being bullied, Dante’s fear of coming out, Sven’s grandfather’s illness), I like how the author chose to focus our attention on the development of their story and their personal growth.

A couple of things I didn’t like: first, the prologue, and it’s a total personal opinion. I think I already said it I’m not comfortable reading hetero sex in my m/m books. I’m sure approaching how the MC knows he was gay could be showed in another way. More, I can say the writer put a lot on these young men’s shoulders, maybe a little too much and sometimes it came out as disconcerting. At the same time I appreciate the lightness in the way the story is wrote, so I was able to overcome these little details that unsettle me. In fact their story came out to me slowly, with tenderness and sweetness I enjoyed so much. At the end it’s a story about first times, first porno, first kiss, first sex, first boyfriend… can’t wait to read more about this author.

Cover art by Dar Albert. It’s a well done cover, I can’t say nothing about it but in my opinion it’s not so eye catching.

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

Published January 6th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
Kindle Edition, 172 pages
Edition language English


Cover Reveal for J.K. Hogan’s Shadows Fall (contest)



It’s Time to Reveal the Cover


 Shadows Fall by J.K. Hogan
Release Date: June, 2015
Goodreads Link

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Cover Artist: J.K. Hogan

Sales Links:

Shadows Fall Blurb

A gift—or curse—gives Titus McGinty the unwanted ability to talk to ghosts. When he starts seeing the same few apparitions repeatedly, appearing with similar gruesome injuries, he begins to wonder what they want from him.

Detective Charlie Hale has a serial killer on his hands. On the loose for weeks, the Queen City Slayer has left the police nothing to go on, no forensic evidence other than what he wants found. The city is running out of time.

The crisis brings Titus and Charlie together—Titus stumbles upon a body and finds himself a suspect. Their budding romance is tested as they are sucked into a web of underground laboratories, restive spirits, and religious fanaticism. They’ll have to work together to find the identity of the killer before he takes his next victim…Titus.

Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Romance, Thriller
Pages or Words: 100,000 words (pre-edits)


Author Name: J.K. Hogan

Author Bio:
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visitwww.jkhogan.com.

Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJKHogan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JK_Hogan
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jkhoganbooks/
Tumblr: http://officialjkhogan.tumblr.com/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+JKHogan/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/jkhoganbooks


Tour Dates: March 7, 2015

Tour Dates: March 7, 2015

Tour Stops: 

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie, Love Bytes, Charley Descoteaux, Bike Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Cate Ashwood, Romance the Night, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Divine Magazine, Havan Fellows, Kimi-Chan, Hearts on Fire, Carly’s Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark, Fallen Angel Reviews, Amanda C. Stone, Andrew Q. Gordon, The Hat Party, Elin Gregory, Nephylim, Velvet Panic


Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A signed paperback of either I Survived Seattle or Love and the Real Boy. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Rafflecopter links and prizes provided by Pride Promotions.

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