A BJ Review: Fidelity by Lia Black

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

How far can a man go in the name of faith?

Fidelity cover

While most of his order choose a female, Father Gareth De’Aubyn chose the handsome Fidelity as his guardian and fell in love with his angel during his prayers. When he leaves the Crusaders to minister to the very people his armies once threatened, his beloved angel falls from the Heavens in his search for him. Soon Gareth finds himself at death’s door and calls to the Creator for aide in protecting his flock. But its Fydelis, no longer an angel but now the demonic aspect of regret and toy of the Sunderer, who comes to his rescue. In exchange for help, Gareth must promise his soul to the Sunderer, god of the underworld. Bargain made, its Fydelis who must lead his love, the man he thought had abandoned him, on his task of collecting twenty strong and stubborn souls. Their journey together tests everything they thought they knew about faith, love, and fidelity.

Well-written with excellent pacing, this story had me enthralled from the gripping first scene onward. Being that I was quite swamped in real life when I read this, I didn’t breeze through it as I most assuredly would have if I’d had time. On retrospect, I actually don’t regret that. It allowed me to savor the story, and cuddle these lovely broken guys in my mind over a matter of days rather than hours. And this is a story well-worth savoring, let me tell you!

If you enjoy dark stories about broken boys, like I do, my advice is… read this book right now. There isn’t just one but two deliciously damaged men here, broken at the start and falling to pieces all along the journey’s way. Two men both in love, both thinking they’d been abandoned by the other, now united on the lurid task set before them, one knowing who the other is, one in the dark.

Usually early on in a good story, I’m locked into one of the characters so much that my heart bleeds and breaks for him, this is that times two. I’d be hard pressed to say which of these guys touched me more. Gareth who wants so much to help others and do what he thinks is right that he even scourges his back to keep himself from having impure urges; or Fydelis who has suffered so much at the hands of the gruesome Sunderer.

Dark and not for the faint-hearted, one particular scene at the beginning took my breath away with its grisly, shocking cruelty. But amidst the bloody battle scenes, there is humor, small joys, and sweet tenderness. Amidst the dismantling, we are put back together. The ride to get there is gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and painful to read at parts. And I bloody well loved it. All of it.

From the first book I read by this author, I was hooked. She’s now firmly one of my two favorite m/m authors. I’d be hard pressed to choose between Black and Lanyon. But Lia Black somehow (by magic?) looks into my head and heart and gives me what I love, pushes my buttons, presses my boundaries, and does it every single time.

The cover is a stunner, just gorgeous. From the seal of the order, the stern and righteous Gareth in his armor with sword, Fydelis as a young long haired human and the wings in the background… its just absolutely perfect. Bravo!

Sales Link:  Amazon  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by VineDark/ BlackHouse Press
ASINB00W4BS5R8
edition languageEnglish

A Paul B Review: Hope: Sequel to SAFE by Mark Zubro

Standard

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Hope coverWhen Steve Koemer has an argument with his parents, he turns to his boyfriend Roger Cross for comfort. When Steve’s father is found crucified the next morning, the boys must clear their names and once again fight for their lives.

This is the sequel to the book Safe. It would be recommended that you read the first book to understand some of the plot lines in this book.

It has been several months since Steve Koemer and Roger Cross survived a brutal attack that almost cost them their lives. Since that time, they have been dating and been open about it with their friends within their school. One evening, Steve’s parents confront him about his friendship with Roger. When he admits he is gay, Steve’s father slaps him. Steve runs to the park and texts Roger to meet him there.

Having taken Steve home to his family, Roger’s parents insist on documenting the bruises that are on Steve’s face. They offer Steve a place to stay until they can talk to his parent s in the morning. When they awake the next morning, the police are on the Cross’s doorstep. Steve’s father, a minister at a prominent church has been murdered. To make matters worse, Steve’s mother has all but implicated him as a suspect because of the fight the night before. Despite having an alibi, it appears that the police are determined to pin the murder on either Steve or Roger or both.

With the assistance of their friends at the school newspaper, a semi-retired newspaper reporter, and their lawyer, Steve and Roger must figure out not only who has a possible motive for murder but also avoid a school bully who does not like their relationship. As they investigate, they must go up against the ruling body of Steve’s church and a police force that does not seem to be taking the investigation seriously. Can they solve the mystery, get through the daily grind of high school and keep themselves from either being arrested for murder or killed themselves?

I enjoyed this novel for different reasons. First was the contrasting support of the sets of parents. Whereas Roger’s parents are supportive of him and Steve being boyfriends, Steve’s parents are ultimately trying to divide the couple apart. Roger realizes that his parents are treating them like any other dating teens when they request that Steve sleeps on the couch instead of his room. Second, the mystery seems to come out of Agatha Christie playbook. The suspects are as numerous as the reasons people wanted Steve’s father dead. Once you get to the ending, you see that all the work that our young heroes have put in has been worth the effort. I am glad to see this second novel of these amateur detectives. These two are a welcome addition to Mr. Zubro’s stable of sleuths.

The cover art shows our two heroes standing at dusk in a park. Roger has his letterman jacket on holding onto Steve in a protective manner. Really good representation of our protagonists.

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

Book details:
Ebook, 248 pages
Published: February 15, 2015 by MLR Press
ISBN: 978-1-60820-967-7
Edition: English

In the Spotlight: Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney

Standard

leavingflowers_533x800

Leaving Flowers by  Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney

Release Date: May 1, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Debbie McGowan & Raine O’Tierney are here with their latest novel, Leaving Flowers, a contemporary M/M Romance.  We have an excerpt for you all to read and a contest to enter.  Check it all out below. Here’s Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan and Raine OI’Tierney:

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

LFRC

Sales Links: Smashwords  – Beaten Track Publishing (Paperback) – All Romance (ARe)Amazon USAmazon UK

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Shy and awkward since childhood, Aidan Degas is now a man lost. His twin—Aidan’s other half, Nadia—died tragically young, leaving him with nothing to get him through his days but his job at the prestigious Grand Heights Luxury Apartments and the flowers he lays upon her grave. When Aidan is assaulted on the job by a tenant, it’s the graveyard he turns to for strength and solace.

Patrick loves being assistant groundskeeper at the sprawling cemetery where he tends graves and offers a bit of comfort to mourners. When he sees a sad young man lingering over an old grave, his curiosity is strangely piqued for reasons he doesn’t understand. He’s never done this—struck up a friendship with a mourner. But soon that friendship blossoms into a romance.

It’s not going to be easy for the pair. Aidan is so damaged, like petals crushed in an angry fist, and even with Patrick’s warm heart and Irish charm, it might not be enough to bring him back from the edge.

Pages or Words: 67,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Somehow, in spite of the need to go home and shower off the grottiness of digging earth for half a day, Patrick didn’t feel he could take his usual subtle approach. Nadia’s passing was not recent; her grave was not new; yet here was this young man, kneeling at her feet, his eyes closed, hands resting in his lap, oblivious to the sun’s slide from the sky, the increasing briskness of the breeze, Patrick’s presence…

“Hello there,” he said quietly, stopping on the path a few feet away. The man was too far into his own mind to startle. Instead, he slowly came to, his shoulders lifting slightly as he twisted to see what had disturbed his meditation. Patrick smiled. “I’m afraid we’re locking up for the evening.”

“So soon?”

“It’s going on for seven o’clock, sir.”

“Seven…” The man’s voice petered away, his expression indicating he had no idea how long he had been kneeling there. If he doubted Patrick’s word, the confirmation came when the man tried to stand, and staggered, numb-legged. He automatically reached out to steady himself, catching hold of the front of Patrick’s coveralls, and then almost collapsed again, unable to bear his own weight.

Without a second thought, Patrick quickly grasped the man by the forearms to steady him. “There’s no rush now. You just take your time. All right?”

The man nodded and swallowed hard. “Thank you. I only came to leave the tulips.” He gestured toward the vase of closed tulips in front of the grave and in the midst of the red and white carnations.

Patrick kept his hold on the man and looked down at the flowers. “They’re beautiful,” he said. “Really lovely.”

“Thanks. Nadia loved flowers so much.” A glimmer of a happier time lit up the man’s features for just a second, before it was blotted out once more by the heavy cloud of sorrow.

Patrick felt that sorrow in his heart. He wanted to offer comfort, warmth, security, to soothe with his touch, his kiss… Oh my—no, no, Patrick. You’re way over the line. You’re standing at the grave of this man’s wife, and all you can think of is kissing him? But it wasn’t that sort of kiss he had in mind. It wasn’t about passion, or lust; just a desperate desire to take away the pain.

The man seemed a little more steady on his feet and Patrick gently released him. “OK now?”

“I think so.” He took a long, deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Thank you for your patience. I’m sure you’re eager to go home. It can’t be fun working here.”

Patrick shrugged and smiled. “I love my job. Fresh air, peace and quiet—”

“But it’s a cemetery.”

“Well, yeah,” Patrick said, the slightest hint of a chuckle in his words. It was enough to prompt the other man to lift his head. For the first time, his eyes met Patrick’s, and something bloomed inside, a heat radiating from somewhere he couldn’t quite pinpoint. It rose up through his chest, into his throat, filling his mouth and his nose, as he gazed into those incredible steel-gray eyes. There was so much pain there, and loss—anger—and yet there was more, so much more, that Patrick could almost hear the emotion, like a distant cry for help from someone who was drowning.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About the authors:
DEBBIE MCGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at 17, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At 25, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!

RAINE O’TIERNEY lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow author, Siôn O’Tierney. When she’s not writing, she’s either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on gay romance) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

Homepage: http://www.Raineotierney.com
LGBT Author Interviews: http://raineotierneyhatparty.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RaineOTierneyAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaineOTierney
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7770350.Raine_O_Tierney

LFBanner300x250

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Contest:  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  All links and prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions. Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon gift card.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

LFBannerTemplate

Tour Dates & Stops:

1-May

BFD Book Blog

My Fiction Nook

4-May

Inked Rainbow Reads

Velvet Panic

5-May

MM Good Book Reviews

Foxylutely Book Reviews

Up All Night, Read All Day

6-May

Hearts on Fire

7-May

The Novel Approach

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

8-May

Cate Ashwood

Bike Book Reviews

11-May

Bayou Book Junkie

12-May

The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

Charley Descoteaux

Molly Lolly

13-May

Love Bytes

EE Montgomery

14-May

Amanda C. Stone

Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

15-May

Prism Book Alliance

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Boy Meets Boy Reviews

Cover Reveal Time for Shira Anthony’s With the Wind (Mermen of Ea #3) And Trilogy Finale

Standard

CRRunningWithTheWind-colorsREV

Running With the Wind (Mermen of Ea #3) by Shira Anthony
Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

RunningWithTheWind-colorsREV

Release Date: June 8, 2015

Sales LInks:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback

About Running With the Wind,  Sequel to Into the Wind

.

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

Note: Series must be read in order. This is the final book of the series.
Pages or Words: 67,000 words

Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

 

About Author Shira Anthony…

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shira-Anthony/177484618974406
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterShira
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anthony0564/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4641776.Shira_Anthony
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ShiraAnthony/posts

Final

Tour Dates & Stops: May 7, 2015

Parker Williams, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Cate Ashwood, Carly’s Book Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, The Hat Party, MM Good Book Reviews, Rebecca Cohen Writes, Havan Fellows, Kristy’s Brain Food, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, BFD Book Blog, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Chris McHart, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bayou Book Junkie, Molly Lolly, Emotion in Motion, Kimi-Chan, Charley

The Merman Of Ea Series Include with links to our reviews:

Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1):

Stealing the Wind coverTaren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.

Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.

Into the Wind (Mermen of Ea #2)

IntoWindSince learning of his merman shifter heritage, Taren has begun building a life with Ian Dunaidh among the mainland Ea. But memories of his past life still haunt him, and as the threat of war with the hostile island merfolk looms ever closer, Taren fears he will lose Ian the same way he lost his beloved centuries before. Together they sail to the Gateway Islands in search of the fabled rune stone—a weapon of great power the Ea believe will protect them—and Odhrán, the pirate rumored to possess it.

After humans attack the Phantom, Taren finds himself washed up on an island, faced with a mysterious boy named Brynn who promises to lead him to Odhrán. But Taren isn’t sure if he can trust Brynn, and Odhrán is rumored to enslave Ea to protect his stronghold. Taren will have to put his life on the line to find his way back to Ian and attempt to recover the stone. Even if he does find it, his troubles are far from over: he and Ian are being stalked by an enemy who wants them dead at all costs