A Sammy Review: Apple Polisher (Rear Entrance Video #1) by Heidi Belleau

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I don’t want to be right.

I want to be happy.

ApplePolisher_400x600Christian Blake has been trying to prove something to his mother for as long as he can remember. It doesn’t matter that she’s not even in the same country, or that he knows she’s wrong. The need to be more haunts him.

His life is all a very delicate balance of situations. He’s going to school to become a teacher, his aunt is sick, and he’s moving into a new place with people he’s never met. He doesn’t expect for the apartment to be full of temptations that could form a crack in his carefully constructed teacher facade. But Max, his roommate, well he’s one of the biggest temptations of all.

And then he’s confronted with more issues – like his aunt’s tanking porn store, and he’s forced to make choices and try to figure out how the balance he’s established can work when he’s a gay man in the teaching profession and working in a porn store. Overwhelming? Just a little.

This wasn’t reckless desire anymore, something Christian only acted upon because his life was going to shit. This was genuine want. He wanted Max. His body, his cock, his smile, his advice, his companionship. All of it.

Going into this, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I absolutely loved the premise behind it. Throw something that’s supposed to be forbidden at me (like a teacher working on a porn store) and I’m game. Some of the reviews made me a bit nervous, but I can honestly say that I’m glad I read it.

I found myself so enjoying the story, even when it made me frustrated. Take Max, for example. I know we’re supposed to be frustrated with Christian in this and his issues with being true to himself, but sometimes I struggled with Max’s method of pushing Christian. Was Christian right about the things he did? No, but I’m not sure it warranted Max’s reactions. Still, it worked for me because that’s pretty realistic of relationships. People suck sometimes. We still love them though.

A lot of the events really resonated with me too. Dealing with a family member with cancer, going to school, having all these stresses pile up at once and then having to worry about your image. It all sounds very superficial, but it’s a real problem so many people face, and I appreciated the author not shying away from that – though I do have some little nagging feelings about how the teaching profession seemed to be portrayed as a whole, and that’s part of what kept this rating from being higher.

But the sex, well that was steamy and delicious. I could’ve even stood to have some more, but that’s just me being needlessly greedy. I did feel the bit thrown in at the end with Max’s side career was a bit out of nowhere, but it was hot, so I got over it quickly. I would’ve loved to see it more fully developed though, especially with how Christian’s role in it comes into play. I feel like we only got a taste, and it was a yummy teaser, but I wanted more.

I also really enjoyed the side characters, who we get to see in future books, and that made me even more excited to read the next two books in the series! I can’t wait to see where she takes it. All in all, this was a fun, easy read that made me smile.

The new cover art by Vivian Ng is a lot of fun and compliments the story. After all, sweater vests play a bigger role than you may expect.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Published July 27th 2013 by Riptide Publishing
original title Apple Polisher
ISBN 1626490341 (ISBN13: 9781626490345)
edition language English

A BJ Review: Just a Bit Unhealthy (Straight Guys, #3) by Alessandra Hazard

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

When the line between “need” and “want” gets blurred… 



SONY DSCGabriel DuVal, rising soccer star.

Jared Sheldon, team physician.

To the outside world, they’re just good friends. But the truth is, Gabriel isn’t entirely sure what they are to each other.

Some call their relationship unhealthy. Some call it codependency. Gabriel calls it confusing. He knows Jared wants him – as more than a friend. He doesn’t want Jared. He’s straight, he has a girlfriend, and he loves her. But Jared is… Jared is more. Jared is his. He needs him – his touch and his strength.

But is it enough for Jared?

 

Gabriel DuVal is a soccer star and Jared Sheldon the team physician who pulled him up from hell after an accident that threatened to end his career. Jared loves Gabriel, has for a long time. He tries to hide it because Gabriel is straight and has a girlfriend. Jared secretly knows exactly how Jared feels for him. Knows he should let him go, but can’t. Codependency? Maybe. When Jared discovers that Gabriel knows and quits the team, Gabriel is devastated. He makes a deal to get him back. A very unhealthy deal.

The latest in the GFY “Straight Boy” series is not a light-hearted, sweet romance… it’s just as the title implies, quite more than a bit unhealthy. Watching Gabriel struggle with wanting Jared, thinking of him as his and yet not thinking he physically wants him the way he knows Jared wants him was a fun ride. Both of these guys are rather shitty to each other at time and to others as well, so I can see why some folks might dislike them both. Despite that, I felt their connection, felt they belonged together, and thus I thoroughly enjoyed this!

This well-written series centers on “Straight Guys” who discover or come to terms with their sexuality a bit later and usually not without some trauma along the way. If that’s not what you are interested in reading, then this series may not be for you.

Cover was a bit different from the others in the series, not a matched set so to speak, but it works well enough for the story.

Sales Link:  Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published March 26th 2015 by Alessandra Hazard
ASINB00V8L0G5O
edition languageEnglish
seriesStraight Guys #3

Publisher’s warning: This is not a light-hearted story; this is a rather twisted gay-for-you story. It contains some steamy MM scenes, explicit language, and two people so wrapped up in each other that the nature of their relationship goes beyond friendship–and beyond normal.

Straight Guys Series:

 

A Stella Review: Healing Hunter’s Heart (A Little Bite of Love #2) by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Healing Hunter's Heart coverMonths after being forced to leave his lover and mate Ari Jannsen behind, Hunter Devin settles into his role as Enforcer for the newly formed Deagan Clan under the rule of his new Alpha and best friend Tristan “Trip” Hagan. Along with Hunter’s brother Boone, their nephews, sister, and mother, Hunter finally has the family he’s always wanted, but without his little rebel Ari, his heart is incomplete.

The Hagan Clan is unable to accept the Deagan Clan’s betrayal for walking away and taking the clan’s pups with them. War looms. As both clans plan their attack, a greater enemy plots against them. But Hunter is determined to get his Ari back. Bonds are put to the test and unexpected alliances are made as Hunter and his clan set out to protect their own and end the spreading heartache.

If you have read my review of An Intrepid Trip Of Love, the first installment in this Charlie Cochet series, you already know how much I loved it. I was so happy to have finally a second book, to revisit Trip and Robbie after so long and most of all to see how Hunter and Ari would get their HEA. Well, I can tell you I was a little disappointed. Of course we are talking about Charlie’s writing so I’m not saying it’s a bad book, I’m almost sure if I had read only , I would have rated it higher. The problem with series is that I tend to compare the book I’m reading with the previous one. So to me this book didn’t measure up with Trip and Boone story.

Charlie showed us how Hunter and Ari meet five years ago, when Ari, 21 years old, finally makes Hunter notice him and Hunter, used to just hookups, realizes he has a mate in the younger man.

Ari has been in love with the fearless and scary shifter for years. His crush helped him be aware of him being gay, even if he couldn’t tell no one. He is so cute and sweet, unfortunately Hunter doesn’t do sweet, no commitments, no virgins. But Ari is every thing he can think of.

[Hunter] “For the life of me, I couldn’t stop thinking about you.” […] “I tried to put you out of my head, but all I could think about was the taste of your lips. The feel of your soft skin beneath my fingers. The way your body felt against mine. I’ve never had trouble walking away from a potential mate. Never. Until now.” Hunter gently pushed at Ari’s neck, and Ari followed his lead, lying on his back.

“So don’t walk away,” Ari said softly, pulling Hunter down toward him. “Stay.”

Ari can see through Hunter’s bullshits ad they start seeing each other in secret.

We leave them in love and then meet Hunter five years later, heartbroken, scruffy, living in a new city with the new pack lead by Trip. The price for having left the Hagan Clan was higher for Hunter: leave his mate behind. It was the only way to save himself and his new clan.

Ari sacrificed their happiness to save his lover. Now he’s almost lost his mind, dealing with his mother’s abuses, prisoner in his own home. A mother who use their children to gain more power in the clan, ready to kill whoever is in her path. She already failed with her daughter, she can’t allow Ari to be gay and destroy her plans.

Only the hope to see his mate one day helps Ari through the  days, but after all these years being apart it’s finally time for Hunter (with the help of Trip and Boone) to rescue Ari.

Charlie Cochet made a great work on helping us understanding this new world and catching us up on what happened in the previous book, so if you haven’t read An Intrepid Trip To Love, don’t worry, you can still read this one. You are only going to miss the incredible story of Trip, Boone and the little Robbie.

What I really really didn’t like was the use of various POVs. Anyone else’s, apart from the MCs ones, to me is too much. I want to know how the story evolve, every little detail, through my MCs’ voices. There should be no need to listen to other persons. The third (or fourth) POV simply took my attention away from the story between Hunter and Ari.

Healing Hunter’s Heart is absolutely an interesting book, full of characters, some old other new, there is some action, a lot of things going on in the clans’ dynamics. Sometimes all of these moved off the focus so it was a little hard to me to really enjoy my loved couple. I think the parts I really loved were the ones with Trip and Robbie in them, too funny to ignore.

Still, I’m ready for the next book. Misha and Kristoff, please?

Cover art by LC Chase. Nothing to say about it. Almost perfect apart from the models not to be how I pictured Hunter and Ari in my mind. But its well done.

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

Book Details:
Published April 24th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ebook, 200 pages
ISBN13 9781634760201
Edition Language English

A Little Bite Of Love series
An Intrepid Trip To Love #1
The Perfect Valentine’s Day #1,5
Healing Hunter’s Heart #2

SALE LINKS

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AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Hunters-Heart-Little-Bite-ebook/dp/B00WDJURY0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431542983&sr=8-1&keywords=healing+hunter%27s+heart+by+charlie+cochet
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In the Book Spotlight: Cliff’s Edge (Willow Springs Ranch #7) by Laura Harner (author interview, and giveaway)

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Cliff’s Edge by Laura Harner
Series: Willow Springs Ranch #7
Release Date: April 22, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Laura Harner, a prolific and favorite author of mine, has a new couple for you all to meet and grow to love in her series, Willow Springs Ranch.  The couple is compelling, the sex sizzling and the story one to sink yourself into. But let Laura tell you about it.

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-A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Author Interview with Laura Harner-

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Laura Harner author of Cliff’s Edge, Book #7 of the Willow Springs Ranch Series.

Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there, thanks for having me! I’m here today talking about Cliff’s Edge, Book #7 of the Willow Springs Ranch Series. I’ve been writing for about seven years now, and have written 51 novels, novellas, and short stories, published in over 60 books and collections. PHEW! Before I started writing I had careers in the Navy, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management—and you’ll probably catch a bit of that experience in many of my books.
• What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your writing?

Laura: That my book kept them up all night. As a reader, that’s always my yardstick for how much I enjoy a book, so when a reader says something similar it’s huge to me. The other terrific compliment is when one of my books gives them a book hangover and they’re still thinking about it days later.

Comments and reviews like that can make a writer’s day—week—month. In fact, it makes us write faster. You should tell us things like that on a regular basis. *Nods*

• Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that impact your writing?

Laura: I’ve been a fulltime writer for a couple of years now. In the old days, when I had an Evil Day Job, I would get up at 2:00 so I could write before I left the house. I tried writing after work, and I just never accomplished much. My brain is definitely more productive in the mornings.

Once I started working from home full time, I really got to sleep in. Now I often don’t start writing until 3:30 or 4:00. Yes…in the morning.

I know it’s early, but it works for me. Of course, I’m not completely stupid…there’s always coffee. Plenty of coffee.
• What interested you about the theme of this book?

Laura: I’ve always loved a friends-to-lovers theme. I think it’s just one of those universal themes that people relate to. A friend who knows what you’re thinking, remembers the punch lines to your jokes, and knows all the words to your favorite song? Yeah…that’s priceless. So add in the romance and sex, stir and pour. Yum.

• What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Laura: Typing. LOL…it’s true! I don’t know how to touch type, so I have to watch the keyboard. I still type pretty fast, but sometimes I look at the screen after I’ve been typing for a few minutes, and I laugh out loud, because I’ve mistyped a word and autocorrect “fixes” my mistake. In Cliff’s Edge, one of those typos made it into the Super Bowl party scene, just because it was so funny. In a completely unrelated part of the book, thought I typed the words ‘fragile calm’ but when I looked up, I saw Word had helped me with an autocorrect and changed it to frijole clam. So of course Ty had to make it and add it to the menu.

• Name your four most important food groups.

Laura: LOL…food groups? Anything that isn’t a starchy carb. I eat a high protein diet, for a couple of reasons, but most importantly because it makes me feel better. So a perfect meal is a steak and broccoli, or ribs and a salad. Or my all time favorite—tacos made with a low carb tortilla. Yum!

I am hopelessly addicted to salty, crunchy snacks, so I don’t even keep chips in the house. If they’re there, I’ll eat them—but that leaves plenty of room for bacon!

Thank you so much for having me—it’s always a pleasure to visit with friends. If you’re new to me as a reader, I invite you to try Ty Hard, Book #1 of the WSR series, available free at all major retailers. If you’re a long time reader, then I thank you, and I hope I never fail to entertain!

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Hot Corner Press
Cover Artist: Laura Harner
Cover Picture: D.W. Skinner

Sales Links:   Amazon – Apple – Smashwords – Barnes and Noble – ARe

 

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Navy SEALs Cliff “Snides” Snyder and Ryan “Rhino” Matthews have been moving comfortably in each other’s worlds for two decades. Best friends since attending BUDs twenty years earlier, and despite playing for different teams, they’re often accused of acting like an old married couple—much to their amusement.

Assigned to shore duty for his final tour before retirement and without Ryan to anchor him, Cliff’s restlessness leads him to a local club and hands-on research that leaves him in a compromising position and a witness to murder—signaling the abrupt end of his Navy career. Needing a place to lay low and lick his wounds, Cliff visits his old friends at the Willow Springs Ranch while he considers making cowboy his new job title.

After six long months on deployment, Rhino returns to San Diego—only to discover Cliff’s gone dark and the unlikely words ‘poor judgment’ are hanging in the air. Despite the offer of a prestigious assignment, Ryan opts to track down his best friend first and finds him at the WSR…along with more questions than he ever expected. With the most coveted orders for a SEAL dangling, twenty years of service under his belt, and Cliff determined to move on without him, decisions must be made.

Ryan is certain he has the perfect solution going forward, but Cliff knows he must face the fallout of his actions alone—and the one thing he’s determined to do is protect Ryan from making the biggest mistake of his career—even if it costs Cliff everything. You know what they say—the only easy day was yesterday.
Pages or Words: 38,000 words

Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Western/Cowboy, Military

 

 

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Cliff stumbled a little in the dark of his bedroom, reluctant to turn on the lights and ruin his night vision. It had been a long while since he’d had so much to drink—or felt so relaxed. There was definitely something to be said about being on the WSR, away from anyone who might know him or what he did for a living.

In their careers, it was conceivable they could be targeted for one of their field actions or just by virtue of being Navy SEALs. Just like the cops who’d enjoyed harassing him once they’d discovered his profession. Some people needed to try to knock down others to feel good about themselves. But here? He and Ryan were just a couple more guys.

He stripped to his boxers and tossed his jeans onto the chair before pulling back the covers on the king-sized bed. A shudder raced up his spine, and for just a moment, he remembered the frustration and helplessness of the situation when he’d been trapped on the other bed…listening to those fucking punks. His stomach clenched at the thought of Gentry and Draco. Their bodies had been removed by the time the cops saw fit to release him from the alcove, but he’d never forget listening to their last moments or the blood that soaked the floor when he’d been led through the office to the stairs. Ryan would eventually ask for details about how they died—especially Draco, since they’d been friends—but they’d both learned to compartmentalize death a long time ago.

That didn’t mean they weren’t affected by loss, but there was a time and a place to mourn, to say good-bye, and it wasn’t while the battle raged. Despite several warnings from the DA and lead investigator, Cliff would like nothing more than to hunt down those gangbangers and make them pay…and Ryan would be more than happy to help. He recognized the danger in those thoughts, as well.

Blowing out a breath at the loss of his mellow mood of a few minutes ago, Cliff moved silently on bare feet to open the bedroom door and listened. The quiet murmur of television voices from behind Ryan’s door would mask any noise he might make. Hell, Rhino was probably passed out on his bed already.

Cliff padded to the refrigerator, considered then dismissed the idea of another beer. He had a long drive ahead of him in the morning. Grabbing a bottle of water instead, he drank half down in one long pull.

Turning, he found Ryan standing near the counter, watching him. With the moonlight streaming in through the window providing the only illumination, his friend’s face was difficult to read, but his naked body was a little hard to miss.

“Want some?” Cliff held the bottle of water in Ryan’s direction.

With a nod, Ryan took the bottle and finished it off. With a perfect aim, even in the near total darkness, he tossed the empty into the wastebasket. “And the crowd goes wild.”

“Idiot,” Cliff said, opening the fridge for two more bottles of water. Once again passing a bottle to Ryan, he started to head back to the bedroom. Ryan’s hand on his arm stopped him.

“I…uh…had a good time tonight.” Ryan’s words weren’t slurred, but there was a lazy cadence beneath the stilted delivery that spoke of too much tequila.

“Yeah, me too. Ty and Cass are good folk. They’ve made this place a good home for a lot of guys who needed a fresh start.”

“Is that what you’re thinking of doing? A fresh start out here as some kind of cowboy? ’Cause, man…I could see the attraction. You out here surrounded by all those hot guys—I mean obviously not the couples, but there were at least half of them in there single, right?”

Cliff laughed softly at Ryan’s concern for his love life. “Yeah…sorry about that. I didn’t even think about how you might have felt…surrounded by all those guys.” He studied Ryan’s face. “You weren’t offended, right? I mean you’ve been to gay clubs with me and it’s never bothered you…”

“Offended? Nah…why would I be? You never were offended at the straight clubs, right?” His hand tightened on Cliff’s forearm, and he seemed to weave a little on his feet.

“Hey, Rhino, come on. You need to get some sleep—”

“Are we having a bromance?” Ryan blurted.

“A bromance?” Cliff laughed, and Ryan’s eyes narrowed. Oh boy, never laugh at a drunk who thinks he’s making an important point.

“Yeah, a bromance. Where two guys hang out all the time, like the same shit, would probably fuck each other if they were both gay—or if one of them was female.”

Fighting off more laughter, Cliff nodded. “Sure, you can call it that. Come on, princess, let’s get you to bed.”

Ryan didn’t yield when Cliff tried to pull his arm free in order to lead him toward the bedrooms. “What do you think? Should I take the orders?”

“What, are you nuts? You’ve been waiting for those orders your whole career.”

“Yeah, that’s the problem…my whole career.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“You’re not the only one eligible to retire. Just because you had two years prior service in the Marines before you joined the Navy, you’ve got more time in service than me, but yeah…it’s been twenty years this month. I don’t know if I want one more tour. That’s another four or five years, in order to retire at the new pay grade I’d no doubt pick up in the next year or two.

“True, but it’s also more money when you do retire. And, Rhino…it’s Six.” He referred to the DEVGRU unit by their unofficial name, hoping to jar a little sense into his friend.

Squeezing his arm a little, Ryan leaned in, as if imparting a great secret. “You should be there.”

Cliff shook his head. “That’s done. We don’t even need to think about it. I just gotta figure what I want to do next.”

“See, Snides…that’s the thing. If I have to wait another four or five years before I retire and you move on, you’re going to get too fucking far ahead. I don’t like that. ’Sides, that’d mean no more football or watching NCIS. You’d get to see all the episodes of So You Think You Can Dance without me telling you how gay that is.”

“Ha, now I know you’re drunk. We only watch that because you like the women’s skimpy outfits. You probably need to quit hanging out with me and spend the next six months of your training cycle finding the right little woman and getting laid on a regular basis. Hell, get a wife! Then you’ll be all set for retirement when you’re done with the next tour. She can cook your sorry ass dinner, wash your clothes… Yep…you need a wife.”

“Fuck that shit. I’d sooner fuck you than ever get married again. In fact—”

Time seemed to stop, as if they both needed a moment to absorb the truth of those words.

[To continue reading, you confirm that you are 18 years of age or older by clicking this link.]

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About Laura Harner:

Laura lives on waterfront property in Arizona because she’s always wanted to be an oxymoron. She once enjoyed hobbies such as gardening and travel—now the characters in her head compel her to tell their stories, so she writes. (It doesn’t actually help quiet the voices—but it keeps the folks in the white jackets at bay.)

She shares her home with an ever-revolving cast of characters—some of whom are actually real—and is living her dream of building her own version of the Willow Springs Ranch.

With nearly sixty published novels and novellas, Laura is an international bestselling author of erotic romances, romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and Highland romances. Her books can be found at all major online retailers.

Where to find the author:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lauraharner
Facebook: http://facebook.com/lauraharner
Website: http://lauraharner.com

RC

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Contest: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Now here’s the giveaway!

Rafflecopter Prize:
First Prize (1): 1 autographed complete set of the Willow Springs Ranch Series (PRINT Books 1-7) PLUS
RT Goodie Bag
$20 ARE Gift card

Second Prize (3): Autographed print copy of Ty Hard, Whit’s End, OR Park’s Lot (Random)
RT Goodie Bag
$10 ARE Gift Card

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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