An Aurora YA Review: Noble Persuasion (The Halvarian Ruin Books #2) by Sara Gaines

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Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Noble Persuasion coverAleana Melora, now a duchess in name only, sought refuge after fleeing the kingdom she once called home. Unwilling to admit defeat, Aleana jumps at the opportunity to learn what is happening in her lands when a mysterious letter arrives summoning her to a nearby fortress.

After discovering she is not the only one who has suffered, Aleana is given the chance to aid her people more than she imagined. But doing so means she must meet the demands of those she would align herself with. This decision has far-reaching consequences for both her people and her relationship with Kahira, the marked criminal who holds Aleana’s affections, as she’s faced with a line she hoped never to cross.

I really enjoyed this book and one of my favorite parts was the world building that was involved. World building isn’t easy, and I think the author did a great job of fitting world building in very naturally with the plot of the book and not just dropping information in the middle. I also really liked the characters, since they seemed to have some flaws that were very realistic to their circumstances, while still managing to be very likable and keeping the reader rooting for them. I was really interested by Aleana’s journey throughout the book and how she really seemed to want to do the right thing.

If there is one thing I could pick out that took me out of the book a little bit is that I found it to be slow in a few places. It wasn’t so much as to prevent me from enjoying the book, but a few times, especially around the very beginning, it did seem like it could have had a faster pace. It really picked up through the middle and the end, though, and I still absolutely enjoyed it. By the time I got to know the characters, within the first two chapters, I was totally along for the ride with them and just waiting to see what happened next.

I would definitely recommend it to fans of fantasy and people who enjoy books that are very character driven. I certainly thought it was a fun read.

The cover artist for this book is Anne Cain. The cover is very simple and very clean, but I still like it a lot. It peaks my interest when I look at it and I think the simple layout actually suits the book very well. It’s a visually appealing cover and I definitely think it would draw a reader’s attention.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press   ♦  All Romance (ARe)  ♦  Amazon Buy it Here

Book Details:

Sequel to Noble Falling
ebook, 200 pages
Published June 18th 2015 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781634762397
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.harmonyinkpress.com
seriesThe Halvarian Ruin Books

Love Wins!!!! Marriage Equality Across the Land! Well Done, SCOTUS!

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SCOTUS Ruling

U.S. Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Gay Marriage Nationwide!

 

What a day to celebrate equality across the land!  Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Love and Marriage Equality.

It’s a day to smile, dance, and be happy!

Gay Flag SCOTUS

Check out this Youtube Vid to see the hope we had in April, now its June and Marriage Equality is Here! https://youtu.be/ALK2iZBDRpk

Wooooohoooooo!

 

A Mika Review: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles

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Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.



The Secret Casebook of Simon Fleximal coverA note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell
September 1914

I can’t believe I’m saying this I like it, but didn’t love The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles as much as I normally do her  stories. I did not feel like the two mc’s were connected enough for me. I liked some of the stories, some were clever to read about, and a few had me re-reading the sentences to make sure I was reading them right. I’m pretty sure I was confused about the Pieball story, as well as the Priest story. I got it, but all the words in my head were not making sense at all.

As usual K.J. Charles has some memorable characters. I love reading her books, she gets the time frame, setting, and linguistics down packed every time. I liked the anthology style writing that was presented. We have Robert Caldwell who decided to write a short book in the 1900’s based on his experience with Simon Feximal the ghost hunter extraordinaire. From that first meeting to their presumed death was illustrated. It brought forth the introduction of numerous characters, some stand outs like The Fat Man<–*Swooning, Mycroft Holmes is the S***, the Diogenes Club, Miss Kay, Mr. Silence, and the utterly disgusting Mr. Park, and Dr. Berry.

I thought the cast was good, and some of the stories were scary. This is classified as romance and I felt like the relationship between Simon & Robert was nowhere to be found. I was underwhelmed with them. I don’t know if it was the nonexistent communication or the lack of love, but I was not into them like I found myself with her other characters from previous novels. Of course I’ll continue to read Charles’s writing, one not so good book does not disqualify her from being one of my favorite authors writing one of my favorite genres.

Cover Art by Kanaxa: I thought the cover is fitting. It’s the beginning between the two mc’s. The mirror is an important factor to Simon, as the house is important to Robert. I liked the cover; it definitely keeps up with the book setting as well.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
ISBN139781619228726
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

The Caldwell Ghost and Butterflies are previously published short stories. The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal continues and completes Robert Caldwell and Simon Feximal’s story with primarily new material.

Product Warnings
Contains a foul-tempered Victorian ghost-hunter, a journalist who’s too curious for his own good, villainy, horror, butterflies, unusual body modifications, and a lot of tampering with the occult.

 

Love Skates On Thin Ice with the Long Change by V. L. Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Name: Long Change by V. L. Locey
Release Date: June 26, 2015

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Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Cover Artist: Allyse Karam

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Sales Links: AmazonKobo  |Ellora`s Cave

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Collegiate superstar goalie Boone Crockett seems to have the world at his feet. He’s rich, handsome, attends an elite college and is a hot prospect for the pros. Pity all that is a front for a deeply closeted and troubled young man.

All Boone’s life plans are shattered when flamboyant ex-figure skater Preston Gordon, an orange-haired twink, shows up to audition for the team’s mascot position wearing sequins, scarves and toe picks. His moves on the ice send Boone into his own pirouette of frustrated and reluctant desire.

As senior year progresses Boone slides deeper and deeper into a dangerous depression, Preston’s sensual strength the only thing he has to hold on to. If Boone can’t keep from plunging through the thin ice he’s skating on, it could take a twink to make the big save.

Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
A Romantica® gay erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Pages or Words: 70 pages

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Sports

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

We stood side by side at the sliding door that looked out over a snow-covered campus. It was beautiful, untouched and pure. I was rather glad now that I hadn’t done the head in the stove thing. We talked between swallows, spoons hitting bowls the only noise aside from the heater coming on from time to time. I liked watching the way Preston’s hair fluttered around his face when hot air blew down from the vent directly above us. He handed me his empty bowl, then unlocked and opened the slider.
“Dude, heater’s on,” I pointed out. He crouched down. I inhaled. The air was brittle like a dead leaf and cold with a light scent of snow on pine. It was an odd sensation, the cold blowing in to blend with the warm cascading down from above. It wasn’t unpleasant at all. The patio was blanketed in four to five wet inches. Preston stood up. His head turned slowly. I looked over at him, a sated smile trying to curl the corners of my mouth. He was patting a perfectly formed snowball.
“Don’t even think about it you mother—”
Snow filled my mouth, nose and eyes. Preston shrieked. I sputtered, shaking snow out of my eyes, then dashed after him. He was fast and proved hard to get a hand on. After a few laps around the furniture in my living room, the dipshit ran out into the hall. I didn’t hesitate. I couldn’t. I had ice particles dangling from my eyelashes. Vengeance would be mine. We thundered down the steps, his high-pitched squeals of laughter and my warning growls seeming extra loud in the ghost town of a dorm building. The side exit flew open. I barreled out on his heels. The snow was freezing on my bare soles. Preston hissed a nasty curse when his naked tootsies hit the white stuff. He slowed just enough. I tackled him from behind. He went face first into the fresh fluff, all the air leaving his lungs with a loud “Oof!” when I landed on his back.
I clawed up a nice handful of snow as he frantically tried to free himself. I had him pinned, one arm picking up wet powder, the other holding his face into the drift. Wicked laughter boiled out of me when I shoved that snowball down his back. His scream was piercing. He kicked like a wild man, his arms flailing to the sides. I flopped down on him to ensure the snow was plastered to his back.
“Get off! Oh, fuck me, that is so cold! You asshole!” he shouted.
I stayed where I was, splayed over his back, my hand down the back of his shirt, chuckling steadily. I rolled off a moment later still bubbling with laughter. The sky overhead was filled with snow clouds. You know those huge white ones that blow over, drop some flakes, then continue on to let the sun shine down on the freshly carpeted world? Eyes closed, chest heaving, heart lighter than it had been in months, I spread my arms and legs out, inhaled the unique scents of winter and Preston and enjoyed the tickle of new snowflakes touching my cheeks.
“I hate you.”
I rolled my head in his direction and opened my eyes. “Really?”
His mouth rolled into a perfect pout. He was such a pretty thing, even with snow-frosted bangs.
“No,” he huffed as he dashed at the melting snow on his chin. “I should, though. That was heartless!”
“I’ll warm you back up if you want.” The offer slid out of me before I could stop it. A snowflake landed on the tip of Preston’s pixie-like nose. I so wanted to reach out, touch the perfect flake, dry his nose then pull him down for long, wet kiss. Instead I got to my bare feet, standing now in the shadow of the moisture-laden cloud overhead. “I didn’t mean to say that out here.”
“You can, you know,” he said, extending his hand to me. I looked around the quad, the creeping stink of worry now mucking up what had been a perfect moment. “You can say you want to warm me up, or that I have a cute ass, or anything else you want to say. Go ahead. Say it again.”
I shook my head as I hauled him to his feet. Damn, my feet were cold. I turned from him then walked inside, my head low, my mind filling up with concern over my stupid behavior. What the hell had I been thinking, chasing him outside then rolling around in the snow with him as if we were straight lovers.

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About Author V.L. Locey:
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and three steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

Where to find the author:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452
Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey
Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey
My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/
tsú – https://www.tsu.co/vllocey

RC

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Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Long Change’ by V.L. Locey. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops: June 26, 2015
Parker Williams, Kimi-Chan, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bike Book Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming, Hearts on Fire, Havan Fellows, Bayou Book Junkie, SiK Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Mikky’s World of Books, Happily Ever Chapter, Up All Night, Read All Day, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, MM Good Book Reviews, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Velvet Panic, Divine Magazine

Love A Romance and Best Friends? Check Out Helping Hand by Jay Northcote (excerpt and giveaway)

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Helping Hand by Jay Northcote
Release Date: June 26, 2015

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Publisher: Jaybird Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

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STRW Author BookSynopsis

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

  • Pages or Words: Approximately 33,000 words
  • Categories: Contemporary, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

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STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Where to find the author:

http://www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter
Facebook profile
Facebook Author Page
Jay’s books

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 Amazon card + backlist book of choice. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Final

Tour Dates & Stops: June 26, 2015
Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, My Fiction Nook, Prism Book Alliance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, Havan Fellows, Cate Ashwood, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Charley Descoteaux, Chris McHart, Happily Ever Chapter, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Molly Lolly, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Nic Starr, Elin Gregory, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, MM Good Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Hearts on Fire, 3 Chicks After Dark, Carly’s Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Divine Magazine, Mikky’s World of Books, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Velvet Panic, The Hat Party, Andrew Q. Gordon

Love Gets A Homerun with Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson (tour, excerpt and giveaway)

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WildPitch

Title: Wild Pitch (Homeruns #1)
Author: Sloan Johnson
Release Date: June 18, 2015
Goodreads

STRW Author BookSynopsis

There’s never been any question in Sean Tucker’s mind that he’d do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

Sean showed rookie short stop Mason Atley the ropes, both on the field and off. The two forged a friendship which continued as both of them moved through the ranks of the farm system and into the majors. Unfortunately, there’s always been one secret Mason never felt he could share with Sean. Until now.

For seven years, Sean lived with the fact that he loved a man who would never reciprocate. When Mason admits that he’s always known he’s bisexual but has never allowed himself to pursue a relationship with a man, will Sean be able to put aside his reservations about starting a relationship with the friend he’d always assumed was straight? And more importantly, will they be able to find a way to stay together when their careers keep them apart more than they can be together?

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STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“Are you saying what I think you are?” I asked, my mind still holding me back from pushing him back on the couch to give him what he seemed to be begging for. My fingers tangled through his hair, holding him so his face was barely an inch away from mine. I feared that, if I let go, the trance would be broken and I’d never know what it felt to press my body against his.

“Yeah, I think I am.” Throwing caution to the wind, I placed my hands on his shoulders and shoved him back. His wavy hair felt like silk under my fingers as I plundered his mouth with a crushing kiss. He moaned as his hips bucked against mine, just as desperate for release as I felt. A surge of connection jolted through my body, from my mouth all the way down to my cock, urging me to claim him. There’d be time for regrets later, but if this was what Mason wanted, I would be the one to give it to him.
My cock begged to be freed from the confines of my jeans, pleaded with my hands to reach between our bodies and pull his sweats over his hips, but I couldn’t. Just like my performance earlier in the day, I allowed someone else to weasel his way into my mind and I choked.

“Mace, we can’t do this,” I said with more than a trace of resignation behind the words. “I don’t want you doing something with me because you think it’ll take my mind off what happened earlier. You deserve better than that. If you’re really interested in guys, that’s awesome, but I can’t be your guinea pig. You mean too much to me for me to lose you when you decide you want to go back to women. I wouldn’t be able to stand being pushed aside because your tastes change.”
Mason’s face contorted as if he’d eaten something sour. “Dude, you make it sound like it’s a banquet dinner and I’m going to decide I picked the wrong entrée! Why can’t life be a buffet? If I’m in the mood for a steak, I’ll have the steak. If I want the salmon, I’ll grab a piece of that. Life’s short, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to get to St. Peter and regret never trying steak. Unfortunately for me, the only cut I’m interested in is you.”

“See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about,” I countered. “Let’s keep going with your ridiculous analogy, because you seem to focus better when we’re talking about food… what happens when you try the steak, only to decide that you can’t stand it? What if you realize that what you thought was steak was closer to a nasty fast-food burger? I don’t want to take that chance.”

Playlist for Wild Pitch can be found here!

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Handsome muscular blond man sitting on stair steps in city setting looking away

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

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Love Cowboys? Love Cowboys In Love? Don’t Miss Letters from a Cowboy by Sue Brown! (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Letters From A Cowboy
Series: Morning Report
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Length: 154 Pages
Release Date: 10 June, 2015
Blurb: A Morning Report Story
Simon Wood arrives at Tamar Ranch looking for a job
after being fired from his last position for seducing the boss’s son. It
doesn’t take much for him to prove his skills with horses, so he’s taken on,
but soon he clashes hard with Chip Henson.
The animosity between them hides something very
different, but not for long. No matter how hard they try to resist their
attraction, eventually they give in to their need. They start leaving notes for
each other, and others notice and warn them to be more careful.
Fearful of discovery, Simon leaves Tamar Ranch to save
Chip’s job. When he learns that his departure sent Chip off the rails, he knows
he needs to risk everything and go back for him.

 

 

HE WAITED an hour by the mill before Chip showed.
The cowboy slid off his horse and into Simon’s waiting arms, his hat tumbling
off his head as Simon held on to him tightly. Simon pulled him into the shadow
of the mill, pleased that he could finally bury his chilly face in Chip’s neck,
his nostrils full of the strong, rich scent of his man.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” he managed
eventually. “Didn’t know if you’d get my note.”
“I nearly didn’t,” Chip said. “Lorne and Brad
were waiting for me with rifles before I left.”
“How did you get away?”
“Lofty and I jumped them and knocked ’em both out
before they could shoot me.”
Chip shuddered with the emotion, and Simon hung
on even tighter, aware of just how close he’d come to losing him.
“I love you, Henson,” Simon said gruffly, feeling
Chip dig his fingers almost painfully into Simon’s back. Simon relished the
pain. It reminded him they were both still alive.
“Love you too, Woody.”
Simon huffed into Chip’s neck at the nickname.
“Next time we go together.”
Chip pulled back to look at him. “Don’t be stupid.
We can’t take that risk.”
“I’m not leaving you again,” Simon insisted
stubbornly.
Chip stepped back and slid his hands down Simon’s
shoulders to grasp him around the upper arms. “Don’t, Simon. You know we can’t
risk anyone finding out about us. I only just escaped this time. Next time it
could be you, and I can’t have that.”
Simon stared at Chip, seeing the lines around his
brown eyes, carved deeper into Chip’s face in the year he’d known him. “And I’m
not gonna to spend my life wondering if you’re goin’ to turn up. We can’t be
together as lovers, but we can be together as friends.”
“What are you saying?”

“If keeping us safe means we stop fucking,
then….”

Chip pressed his lips together, then gave a short
nod. “Friends.”

Simon went to step away, but somehow he ended up
with his mouth mashed against Chip’s, his hands tangled in Chip’s hair, and
Chip’s erection a rigid line pressing into his hip.

The throaty noises Chip made as they kissed just
ramped up his excitement.

Simon growled deep in his throat and pushed Chip
against the mill wall. “Fuck, I’ve missed you so much.”

“Missed you too.” Chip hauled Simon down to kiss
him again.

“No lube,” Simon groaned.

“Ya got spit.” Chip’s hands were busy at Simon’s
flies.

“It’s gonna hurt.” Simon was just as busy, dragging
Chip’s jeans down his legs.

“Don’t care, not now. Just want you.” Chip turned
in Simon’s arms and placed his hands against the rough wall.

Simon pulled Chip’s ass toward him, bare and
beautiful, and all his. He ran his work-roughened hand over the tight asscheek.
“You’re so fucking beautiful.”

Chip laughed roughly. “You need to see the doc,
Woody. I ain’t beautiful.”

“You are to me. You’ll always be more beautiful
than any of them painted whores in the Drink.”

“Thanks, I think.” Chip gasped as Simon spat on
his fingers. “Hurry.”

Simon held Chip’s shoulder and slowly worked his
fingers into Chip’s ass. “Just you wait. I’m not gonna hurt you.” He withdrew
his fingers and spat on them again. He worked Chip until he was as prepared as
he could get him.

Chip smacked the wall as Simon pushed in.

God, he was so tight. Simon wanted to ram in
until he couldn’t go any farther, but he wouldn’t hurt Chip. “Too much?”

“Faster,” Chip gritted out. “I’m not gonna
break.”

Chip might not, but Simon felt he was about to
fly apart at the seams. He sank into Chip’s heat until he could rest against
Chip’s back. He breathed across Chip’s ear, feeling the man shiver.

“Don’t let me go,” Chip whispered.

Simon held him tighter. “I’m never gonna let you
go.”

“That’s all I needed to hear.”
Simon needed to move, but for a moment he just wanted
to stay exactly where he was, Chip’s body tight around him and Simon’s senses
full of his man.

 

 

 

 

 

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two
children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at
her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring
the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the
time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The
series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s
made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture
out into the world of original fiction.

 

AUTHOR
LINKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email ID: suebrown.stories@gmail.com

 

Get a chance to win two signed paperbacks of ‘Letters
From A Cowboy’ or a package of Morning
Report
stories!

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A Stella Review: Coffee Cake by Michaela Grey

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

coffee Cake coverBran Kendrick never expected to fall in love. He’s asexual, after all. What chance does he have of finding someone who’ll see past that? So when Malachi Warren catches his eye, Bran tells himself his crush will pass. Malachi disagrees. He has been attracted to Bran for some time, something he is delighted to find Bran reciprocating. They begin to date and feel their way through an intimate relationship that meets both their needs.

Suddenly Bran finds himself juggling a new boyfriend, a demanding job, and a college degree he’s not sure he wants, but he couldn’t be happier—until a series of seemingly random accidents befall Malachi. When they escalate, Bran realizes someone is trying to take away the best thing that ever happened to him, and he must scramble to keep Malachi safe while they search for the would-be killer

 

I wanted to give to Michaela Grey a chance for a couple of reasons. First of all the cover. Congrats to Aaron Anderson that, albeit unknowingly, the artist has put in my favorite color and everything food related is a winner to me. Reading the blurb of Coffee Cake I was soon curious about the asexuality aspect. I’m pretty sure this book was my first one with an asexual MC and I can say that I really, really liked how it was shown to me. Being pretty ignorant about this specific subject, I wasn’t sure what to expect, as a matter of fact I was expecting no sex at all. I was so wrong, the sex scenes were interesting too, not just the book. I loved the author’s note at the beginning of the book, I found it beautiful.

“Asexuality is something that is sorely misrepresented by the media, and as a result, many asexuals grow up feeling they are broken or “freaks.” It is my goal to show these people that they can live a wholly satisfying, fulfilling life without ever wanting sex, and it’s not something to ever be ashamed of or feel guilty over.”

The plot is simple. Bran is an asexual young man who has a crush on Malachi, the popular college guy. What Bran doesn’t know is that the crush goes both way. Malachi is interested too and so they start seeing each other. When he has an accident, Bran starts taking care of Malachi. But when he gets hurt for a second time, they began wondering about coincidences or attempts at Malachi’s life.

Coffee Cake hit one of my weaknesses, the sweetness. Malachi and Bran are cute together, in their everyday life and in their intimate moments. I liked the way the author put Bran in a journey to the discovery of his sex life, letting him free to explore and to understand what he needed. We learn more about asexuality as Bran learns more about himself. It was lovely and instructive too.

“Um. I’m not… I’m not aromantic,” he said in a rush.
“Yeah? That’s cool. Do you know which way you swing in that regard?”
“I guess… gay,” Bran said. “Not that it matters.”
“Why wouldn’t it matter?” There was honest curiosity in Malachi’s voice.
Bran shrugged. “Because no one’s going to want me,” he said, and he couldn’t help the pain in his voice.
“That’s bullshit,” Malachi said flatly, and Bran jerked his head up. Malachi’s eyes were angry as they met Bran’s. “You’re an amazing guy, Bran. You have so much to offer. So what if you don’t want sex? It’s not as rare as you might think, and any guy would be lucky to have you.”

The writing was good and delicate and the combination with a mystery brought the story to an engaging level. Unfortunately there were some parts too stereotypical to my tastes, as the scene where Mal’s dad wants to pay Bran to leave his son, or all the “I-leave-you-because-I-don’t-want-you-to-be-hurt” drama. These clichés curbed a little of my enthusiasm for Coffee Cake. Nonetheless I want to recommend this book and I’m still curious about this author and her coming works. I really hope she will talk about asexuality again.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson. I love this cover! It’s different and cute, and the colors simply perfect. It’s what caught my attention and then reading the blurb I decided to read the book.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Published May 11th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632168481
edition languageEnglish

A Mika Review: Falling by Suki Fleet

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Falling coverJosh’s idea of a romance is curling up alone and reading a novel with a happily ever after. He’s made his flat a safe haven where the wall are covered with beautiful words, and his living room ceiling is a map of the universe.

Angus may be shy and inexperienced, but he’s incapable of hiding anything, especially his attraction to his older neighbor.

When Josh admits to Angus that he’s gay, he doesn’t expect Angus’s reaction. Angus’s obvious interest terrifies Josh. For years he’s managed to keep the world at arm’s length and avoid getting too close to anyone. Well, anyone except Elenor, Angus’s mother, who helped Josh rebuild his life after he was hospitalized for depression. But Josh still thinks he’s broken. His past has left scars he thinks are too deep to heal. Despite Josh’s defenses, Angus begins to mean more to him than just the cute boy next door. If Josh can take a risk and let someone into his isolated world, he might have a chance for a real life happy ending.

I love Suki Fleet, she has become one of my must read authors for me. Every time I see her name come up during new arcs I get super excited. I did not connect with this story, however.  I thought it was okay for the most part. Josh just had too much unnecessary angst going on around himself. I’m still not certain what mental illness he suffers from, because he was the most cerebral person I’ve read about in a long time. It was so much anguish reading the story from his perspective. I do applaud the adjustments he has made, but it was literally pulling teeth to feel any type of emotions from him.

I did like Angus a lot as a character. It’s 18, sure he’s young, but he took responsibilities for his household. I liked how he wanted to protect Josh when they shared their past history. I did not find this story memorable compared to her other stories. I liked it well enough as I was reading it, but the last 10% is where I feel like it really mattered to me. This was not dark as her other stories, but I felt like it was a rainy day when reading this book. I’ll continue to read her books because I like her.

Cover Art by: Reese Dante. Like all Suki Fleet covers, this one goes hand in hand with her stories. I think it’s appropriate seeing as Josh was falling throughout the entire book and he did not know it until the end.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages, also in paperback
Published June 3rd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632169853
edition languageEnglish

A BJ Review: Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern #1) by Jaye McKenna

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

PSI Hunter CoverIn what promises to be quite an epic sci-fi series, humans now travel the stars, and a rare few have psychic abilities. They are called psions. Sometimes these abilities come to the fore after/during traumatic experiences, and that’s the case for Luka, an abused, young psion with extremely powerful abilities that he has no idea how to control or live with.

There are two organizations that deal with psions. On planet Aurora, Pat Cottrell is a psi hunter working for Federation Security. He tracks down dangerous psi criminals who misuse their power. Kyn Valdari works for the Institute for Psionic Research, an organization that helps psions learn how to control their psychic abilities and keep their sanity.

Kyn and Pat were close friends until Kyn walked away three years ago after a passionate night took their relationship beyond friendship. The two haven’t spoken since. When Pat’s partner is out on leave, he is paired up with Kyn to investigate a string of murders that appear to have been committed by a psion powerful enough to kill with his mind. As they work together to locate and then help Luka, the two men find themselves struggling with feelings for each other and fighting for their lives.

The world-building in this series is outstanding and intricate in its detail and scope. In this world, there doesn’t seem to be any angst over being gay (yay!) but there is suspicion and lack of acceptance when it comes to psions. I pictured Downtown Riga as a sort of galactic ghetto slum version of Vegas, and the safe island was so idyllic that I want to visit.

The characters are complex, nuanced, and very believable. They don’t always do the right thing, and they pay the price for their bad choices. There were times when I wanted to slap some sense into a couple of them, but isn’t that how it is in real life?

In an unusual twist for a M/M romance, the person I see as the main character of the story, Luka, isn’t the one involved in the romance. This may seem strange, but trust me, it works. Luka’s story is heartbreaking, but watching how he grows throughout is a part of what I enjoyed about this book. But never fear, there is plenty enough angst and tension between Kyn and Pat to make for a very hot romance. Actually, its the strong and stable Pat who ended up being my favorite characters in this book. In addition, several of the characters I’d wanted more of after reading Facing the Mirror appear, including Miko and Cameron. I enjoyed seeing how their lives had progressed. I’m crossing fingers to see them and also Luka get their own HEA in future volumes.

There were some extremely touching, sweet moments near the end, most of them were created by Kyn. That pleased me since I’d wanted smack sense into him several times in the story. I could forgive him for the I’m-not-good-enough-for-him maneuver, but when he turned that around later and becomes self-centered (or maybe self-focused) at being deprived an assurance most never have, that threw me. I’m sort of a trust freak, and I was disappointed that Kyn didn’t trust in Pat and his love for a while there, mainly because I’d seen nothing in Pat’s behavior that would seem to warrant it. The story and characters are all kinds of amazing. I strongly recommend this series and am eager to read onward.

The cover by Cinchbug depicts Luka rather than the romantic couple in this story. Appropriate, as it really seemed to be his story. The dark tones used on the cover work well as does the creepy feel that comes from the blood flowing from his head/mind.

Sales Links:  Smashwords   –  Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 306 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781311081643
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.smashwords.com/books/view/414055
seriesGuardians of the Pattern #1.0