Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review – Lost Along the Way (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Marie Sexton

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Lost Along the Way coverThe fourth in the Cookbook Series, each written by a different author, Marie Sexton brings us an amazing story in Lost Along the Way. It’s complex, heart-breaking, heart-warming, full of angst and simmering sexual tension, then topped with a sweet layer of love.

When Denver meteorologist, Daniel Whitaker, receives word that his parents have been killed in a car crash, his heart is broken. And it’s not only because they are dead—it’s because he’s been estranged from them for fifteen years and had only recently begun speaking to them again. Now his planned trip to his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming won’t be bringing the joy, healing, and peace he had thought it would. His parents rejected him when he told them he was gay and that he planned to spend his life with his soulmate, Chris. Though they aren’t legally married, he and Chris are still together, and Daniel thinks of him as his husband.

Three months later, Daniel finally makes his way to his parent’s home to begin the process of cleaning up and selling their house. He hadn’t needed to go there when they passed since they had made arrangements to be buried in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and their neighbor, Landon Kushner, offered to take care of the house until Daniel could get there.

Landon is as far from Daniel’s imagination as he can get. Based on how beautifully he kept up the property, and the fact that he went through the kitchen and got rid of the perishables, Daniel pictures a neat and tidy middle-aged man. The reality is that Landon is gruff, built, sloppy, but sexy, with a beard that is far past neat and bordering on scruffy. But he has a heart of gold and offers to help Daniel sort and clean out the house. Daniel takes him up on the offer in exchange for giving Landon many of the knickknacks from the overly cluttered house. Each weekend they work together and Daniel sees more and more that Landon is all about joy and freedom. His wind sculptures—huge monstrosities of scrap metal are not ugly like Daniel first thought—they’re beautiful, wild creations that capture the spirit of both the land and the man who created them.

When “Recipes for the Heart: Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts” by Granny B. is delivered to Daniel’s address with Landon’s name on it, the real fun begins.

Daniel has been realizing more and more that he is happier on the weekends with Landon than he is on the weekdays at his job and with Chris. Chris has been cold and distant for months and turns down every opportunity to go to Laramie with Daniel. He also works evenings and weekends—when he is working and not losing another job. They have no sex life either, so as the stress of traveling back and forth and getting no support from Chris starts to wear on Daniel, he begins to wonder if they should stay together or break up. Then one morning after going for a jog, Daniel discovers that Landon has made bread from the Granny B cookbook and the sexual tension heats up. Each recipe in the cookbook solves a problem, or brings out an emotion, and apparently this particular bread brings on the sexual tension, so much so, that Daniel escapes quickly and goes home to shower. In the shower, he’s seized with images of Landon taking a shower at the same time across the street at his home. Though it’s in his imagination, the sex that follows feels very real, and it shows him that he really needs to do something about Chris.

What happens, and what Daniel finds out when he decides to make the meatloaf that is “for finding what was lost along the way”, shocks Daniel and turns his world upside down.

I really liked this story. I’ve always loved a slow burn/ust story and this one definitely has that and more. Plus, the characters are so well-described and their personalities so well-developed, that I felt like I knew them. To me, this is the best of the series to date. As I stated at the beginning of this review, it was romance at its best. This one is a beautiful love story of not only one man for another, but of family—both family of origin and family of the heart—and it’s one of those stories where the HEA is so worth the wait! Don’t hesitate to buy this book.

Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts a loaf of bread in front of an open cookbook. Since that bread features prominently in a very interesting scene in this story, the cover is perfect for this book and ties it to others in the series.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 128 pages
Published April 15th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleLost Along the Way
ISBN139781632168580
edition languageEnglish
seriesTales of the Curious Cookbook

Tales of the Curious Cookbook series:

6 works, 5 primary works.
Five fun and fanciful stories about a rather curious cookbook!

Authors and Their Stories:

RJ Scott – For a Rainy Afternoon (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by R.J. Scott
Amy Lane – Food for Thought (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Amy Lane
Marie Sexton – Lost Along the Way (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Marie Sexton
Amber Kell – Cookies for Courting (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Amber Kell
Mary Calmes – Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Mary Calmes
RJ Scott – Tales of the Curious Cookbook by R.J. Scott

In The Book Spotlight: The Biker’s Omega by Lisa Oliver (excerpt and giveaway)

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 The Biker’s Omega by Lisa Oliver

Release Date: December, 2014

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Oliver Group Publications
Cover Artist: Lisa Oliver

Sales Links:  Amazon – All Romance (ARe) – Smashwords

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STRW Author BookSynopsis

Marly Miles has been happy in his life as a lone Omega wolf, living and working among the humans of Orlando, Florida. When an attack on him and his friend brings Marly to the notice of the Sergeant of Arms of the Epitaph’s Motorcycle Club, he realizes immediately that the man carries the same scent as his attackers. Not a very good start when the same man is also his mate.

Alpha wolf, Trent Beaumont has spent a lot of years living as a human when he walked away from his home pack. Forced to live as a straight man, because of the Epitaph’s club culture, he walks away from Marly after checking the man is safe. But no wolf, not even an Alpha, can refuse the mating call from the Fates. But with his President looking over his shoulder, and a woman panting after him to share his bed, Trent isn’t sure it will ever be the right time to claim his own Omega.

Fights, misunderstandings and a lack of communication aren’t the only problems Trent and Marly face. Trent has a history that has clouded his judgment and when Marly gets attacked again, Trent realizes he could lose his mate permanently, if he doesn’t get his head out of the sand.

Warning: Contains one hot biker, a beautiful twink with a sassy mouth, and a ton of misunderstandings. Graphic m/m sex, violence and strong language.
Pages or Words: 130 pages

Categories: Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Trent had been waiting hours, freaking hours, for his mate to get home. He had pulled into the apartment block about an hour after he left the club, figuring a shower and a change of clothes was a good idea. But from the scent in the hallway outside of Marly’s apartment door, it seemed he had just missed the little man. Oh, well. Maybe his mate had gone out for food. Four hours later, Trent had to leave his post to get his own food and to take a bathroom break. But in less than thirty minutes, he was back at his post, waiting for Marly to get home. He didn’t remember falling asleep, but being awoken by a mini biker vision in black was more than Trent’s control could handle, especially when Marly smelled of so many different men. The little shit had been clubbing and while Trent wasn’t silly enough to think that Marly had been with anyone else, his wolf’s need to cover the man with his own scent was overwhelming.

Yes, he meant to talk to Marly first – get to know a little bit about the man he was about to become bonded to. Trent wasn’t some crass shifter who fucked first, and then talked after. Not with his mate at least. With most men he had enjoyed in the past it was fuck first and then fuck the talking. But Trent wanted to explain to Marly about his position in the club and what was happening there. He needed to find out about Marly’s pack status and explain his own lack of one. But then the sexy man just had to put a wiggle in his step as he walked passed him and that one little movement shattered what was left of Trent’s resolve, already weakened by his long wait. It had been so long since he had enjoyed a man in his arms, and this one was already deemed perfect for him by the Fates. He didn’t have the strength to argue with that sort of situation.

And right now? With Marly’s mouth open under his, Trent couldn’t think of one goddamn fucking reason why he had wanted to wait at all. The hint of pineapple and cream suggested his mate liked those frou-frou drinks that Trent had never tasted because they looked too girly. The lack of anyone else’s scent on Marly’s tongue meant the man had behaved himself while he was out, and Trent made sure to check, thoroughly, in every crevice and corner of Marly’s mouth.

It wasn’t only Marly’s mouth that was driving Trent insane. Marly’s slim but solid chest was rammed tight between his own and the wall, not a cigarette paper gap between them. Trent moaned as he felt Marly’s cock throbbing behind his jeans, against his own abs, and his Omega’s fingers gripping his shoulders was pure heaven. There was nothing hesitant about Marly – not the way he opened his mouth to accept Trent’s tongue, nor the way he clasped Trent’s shoulders as though the bigger man would try and get away. When Trent felt Marly wrap his lean legs around his waist, opening out that delectable denim covered ass, Trent couldn’t help running his fingers along the seam covered crack. Marly’s full body shiver and the way he pressed even closer into Trent’s chest was proof his mate was as eager for their mating as he was.

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.

When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it, is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers and other writers. You can friend her on Facebook here, or email her directly at yoursintuitively@gmail.com.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lisaoliverauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wisecrone333
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lisaoliver79
Other: http://www.supernaturalsmut.com

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Contest:  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘The Biker’s Omega’ by Lisa Oliver.

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Book Spotlight: Justice Prevails( Sin City Uniforms #3) by Morticia Knight (excerpt and giveaway)

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Justice Prevails( Sin City Uniforms #3) by Morticia Knight
Goodreads Link

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Release Date: April 6, 2015

Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

Sales Links: Totally Bound Books

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Never judge a sexy man by his cover.

Detective Beau Williams is hard-working, dedicated, and professional. He enjoys the finer things in life, but with his heavy caseload that includes what Beau suspects is a new serial killer, he has no time to enjoy much of anything. What the tall redhead needs is someone to shake him up a little.

Investigative Technician Austin Kent never met a snarky joke he didn’t like – or a set of stairs that couldn’t trip him up. One night after a devastating episode at work, Austin sees something else he likes – the handsome detective he’s seen around the station whom he’s always wondered about. But after he makes a drunken fool of himself in front of Detective Williams, he’s sure there’s no hope.

Beau and Austin’s worlds collide right away when Austin is sent to pick up some evidence at the station. Amidst a myriad of twists and turns in the troubling serial killer style murders of Vegas conventioneers, Austin and Beau discover that there’s more to the other than they’d originally thought. There might even be more they’d like to give – unless the killer has the final say.

Pages or Words: 50,662 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Men In Uniform, Mystery, Thriller

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STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt NSFW – see note

Beau nibbled at the side of his neck, Austin tilting his head to give Beau better access. His taste was already familiar, his scent alluring.

“It’s nice to see your car next to mine.” To continue reading, see below…

Click Here to Read ( by clicking you agree that you are 18 years of age or older)

 

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers – but they’re all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story from Rockin’ the Alternative.

Where to find the author:

Follow on Twitter: @morticiaknight
Add book on ‘to read’ shelf at Goodreads
Like Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authormorticiaknight?fref=nf
Follow Morticia Knight’s blog: http://www.morticiaknight.com/

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Contest:  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and Signed paperback copy of Justice Prevails. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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In the Spotlight: Dreams of the Forgotten (Sumeria’s Sons #3) by Lexi Ander (excerpt and giveaway)

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Dreams of the Forgotten (Sumeria’s Sons #3) by Lexi Ander

To be Read as Part of a Series
Release Date: March 15, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: London Burden

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press

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STRW Author BookSynopsis

For Tristan and Ushna, nothing comes easy and with each passing day the challenges grow and the dangers multiply. The safe home they are building for their family and tribe is threatened from all sides, and the peace they seek is being torn apart by enemies and internal strife. Tristan dares not reveal his condition to any but those closest to him, all the while he’s plagued by dreams he cannot remember upon waking…

And over all of it hangs the knowledge that his time with Ushna is running out. Because Ushna already has a Flame awaiting rebirth, and though Tristan would die to protect that bond, he constantly struggles against his beast who demands they bind Ushna to their side.

Pages or Words: 63,000

Categories: Fantasy, Gay, Paranormal, Polyamory, Urban Fantasy

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Ushna’s Lupe, the third form of half-man and half-wolf that all Lycan warriors used for battle, pushed forward as his need to protect took over. Short, fine, black hair burst through his skin under my hands as his chest and arms thickened, his face elongated, and his mouth filled with jagged teeth. Even with fingers tipped with razor-sharp claws, he was careful as he delicately held me in his protective arms. He growled loud and long in warning.

The light switched on, flooding the room with blinding white light. I heard Gregori in the background yelling in anger, followed by a hollow thumping noise, and wounded yells. I scented who’d invaded our bedroom before I gazed over Ushna’s shoulder.

Several weeks ago, Elder Koller had made a call to pull childhood friends of ours, Stanley Kendall and Jory Swaine, from California. The suggestion had been made after the Magi Triad had tried to kidnap both Gregori and Ushna, and the elder knew these two were men I trusted. We had been expecting them at any time, and I would’ve laughed at their antics if I wasn’t worried Ushna would eviscerate our friends.

Gregori, his red hair wild, clad only in blue sleep pants, had a fistful of Stan’s dark hair and a foot planted in the middle of his back, bowing Stan over backward. Gregori wielded a shoe like it was a Sumerian sword and beat Jory with it. Jory tried to defend himself against the onslaught of the shoe and fight off the two guards who were attempting to subdue him.

“You stupid idiots!” Gregori yelled at the top of his lungs. “You could’ve hurt him, you oversized oafs! What’s wrong with knocking?!”

Thwack. Thwack. Thwack.

“Ushna is going to eat you and I should let him! It would remind you to respect your alpha!”

Thwack. Thwack. Thwack.

“Senseless overgrown children!”

Half a dozen guards filed into the room, taking charge of Stan and Jory, relieving a bedraggled Gregori. Scowling furiously at our friends, Gregori gradually crawled onto the bed, talking soothingly to Ushna, who hadn’t stopped growling. I ran my hands down his fur-covered back to soothe him.

“Everything is okay, Ushna,” Gregori cooed.

I cupped my hands around his face, gazing into his ruby red eyes. “I’m okay,” I whispered to him. “Come back to me.”

He released the Lupe, and Ushna the man emerged, the harsh and horrific features melting away. His body shuddered, muscles clenched and convulsed as his control returned.

It’d been years since I’d seen our two friends. Where Stan was dark, Jory was light. Stanley Kendall had wavy dark brown hair that roughly covered his brow, but didn’t quite touch his collar. His eyes were so brown they were virtually black. He sported a couple days of growth on his chin and cheeks. The stubble looked good against his bronzed skin.

Jory Swaine, on the other hand, had short blond hair, was clean shaven with bright turquoise eyes and golden skin. Stan was broader through the chest with his athletic build while Jory was leaner. Both wore leathers; Jory’s pants where loose, hanging low on his hips and revealing the waistband of his boxers, while Stan looked like he was poured into his.

Ushna turned a furious gaze on Stan and Jory, who were standing in the farthest corner, appearing chastised and contrite. “What in the hell were you thinking!” He roared at them. Gregori and I made shushing noises, but Ushna continued to rumble.

“Ah… surprise?” Stan offered weakly, slightly confused.

“Ushna, it’s okay; they didn’t know,” I said.

Ushna snapped his human teeth at our friends. I swear if we’d been alone, I would’ve jumped and taken him right there.

“Xenres, are you injured?” Corey Bahar was the first to swear a blood oath to me. He’d been Captain until this unexpected growth of the tribe and now he was the newly appointed Arms Master of the Royal Guard. In private, he was most adamant in the use of my title, Xenres, which meant prince in our language. Corey didn’t take his sable gaze off Stan and Jory as he approached me. The man looked like he’d been up for hours with his braided blond hair gleaming, clothes pressed and tucked. Did he ever sleep?

Jory chortled at Corey’s words, which caused Gregori to throw a shoe and bean Jory in the head.

A string of curse words exploded from Jory. “Dammit, Gregori! What the hell was that for?” He rubbed the sore spot.

Gregori didn’t answer. Corey’s question was all it took to make Ushna start snarling again as he ran his hands over me, checking for obvious injury. Gregori rubbed small circles on Ushna’s back. I grabbed his hands and craned my head around to get him to look me in the eye, to see me.

“Hey, hey! I’m okay. I’m not hurt.” I kissed his hands.

“I want Nathan to look at you.” Ushna’s worried gaze continued to study me. Nathan Janick, my brother and the resident doctor, had meticulously cared for me during my pregnancy so far.

“All right.” I knew nothing less would appease him.

Stan watched our exchange. The longer he listened, the more confused he appeared. “What’s the big deal?” He crossed his arms, scowling hard. He and Jory had acted as they normally would around us, with carefree roughhousing.

I grabbed Ushna’s attention before he could bark back a reply. We’d purposely kept my pregnancy within my inner circle. I hadn’t left the Clearwater area, which was my territory. When I needed to go to town, I wore a ring Gregori had made for me, a ring of illusion that had hid my swollen stomach. I didn’t meet with outsiders without it.

We hadn’t told Stan and Jory. All communication had gone through Elder Janus Koller, who’d recruited them to work for the Elder Council in the Enforcement Division. Neither Ushna nor I had spoken to these two before now. Needless to say, we hadn’t anticipated their surprise.

“Master Corey,” I calmly said, “we’re all right. I’m sorry we woke you.” I needed privacy for the talk we were going to have with our old friends.

Corey gave a slight bow. The expression on his face let me know we would be revisiting the issue of posting guards outside the bedroom. I had been successful at convincing Corey that the small group of warriors staying in the house was enough security. We didn’t need someone standing on sentry duty in the hallway. To appease Corey, I had even agreed to allow an armed detail to shadow me around the ranch when I left the house. This stunt of Stan’s and Jory’s would make Cory feel vindicated in his original assessment. I would have to talk quick at the next security meeting to keep the arrangements the way they were now.

“It was no bother, Xenres.” Corey shot Jory a hard look when my friend snorted a laugh. He appeared to be gauging whether Jory was being disrespectful to me or making fun of him. “I won’t be far if you need me,” he said before closing the door behind him.

Jory tried to hide his smirk by rubbing a hand over his face. I knew what was coming before he opened his mouth. “Damn, Tristan. You’ve got people bowing and scraping to you. What’ve you been doing?”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Lexi Ander Bio

Where to find the author:

Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1
Blog: http://lexiander.blogspot.com/
E-mail: lexi.ander.author@gmail.com

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Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Enter to win a RAFFLECOPTER PRIZES:
• $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dreams of the Forgotten, swag (pens, bookmarks, and such)
• $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dreams of the Forgotten, swag (pens, bookmarks, and such)
• hard copy of Dreams of the Forgotten, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• e-book copy of Dreams of the Forgotten
• e-book copy of Dreams of the Forgotten

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