A MelanieM Review: The Devil’s Playground: Four of Clubs Three (Pulp Friction 2015: Altered States Book 9) by Parker Williams

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

The Devil's Playground CoverThey say the course of true love never runs smooth, and Detective Ben Nelson is learning the truth of that adage in a big way. Two months ago, his lover Artie Middleton was tortured by demons determined to claim the psychic’s special gifts for their own. Now the same friends who helped Ben with the rescue are making a strong case that something about Artie isn’t right. When Artie verbally attacks his best friend, Ben is forced to acknowledge the unbreakable barriers surrounding Artie’s mind.

Searching for someone with the right gifts to help, Ben encounters a woman who insists there’s only one way—and one person—who stands a chance at saving Artie. What Ben finds when he goes on his solo rescue mission may very well mean both of their deaths, as they confront the evil that has made Artie’s mind the Devil’s playground.

Round Three stories are always a joy to read! Although not my favorite ones (that would be Round 5 and the finale), it comes close.  There’s always a mini explosion or three, and somewhere within the plot, the readers will get a small, yet so satisfying emotional payoff for all the angst and heartbreak that has  gone before.  That’s The Devil’s Playground by Parker Williams, book three in his Four of Clubs series in the Pulp Friction Altered States Universe.

When last we left our heroes, Artie and Ben, things were dark and getting darker.  Artie was behaving strangely, asking for help and yet repudiating any that came his way.  And he was mean, deeply, hurtfully, vindictive.  Every the opposite of the character we have come to love.  Ben, his partner and lover, was distraught and at a loss for answers.  In The Devil’s Playground we finally get some answers, and they’re as ugly as we had anticipated.

Demons, a nefarious, unknown plan and a close circle of friends imploding from the inside.  That’s the heartbreak, the suspense and the element that  provides so many emotional layers to this story and series.  Parker Williams continues to remain true to the pulp friction format with a writing style that’s crisp, descriptions that make his characters and situations feel real and a plot that keeps the suspense and angst ratcheted up to high levels. .  He gives us moments of happiness and then  proceeds to break our hearts and that of his characters.  And of course, there’s a cliffhanger as well.  Be still my heart!

I consider this Pulp Friction series one of the top reads this year and that includes all the interconnected series that goes along with it. I have them listed below.  Put them all on your TBR  list!  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Simple, perhaps too simple.  I wish more elements of this story had been included to give it a punch its lacking now.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published July 13th 2015
ASIN B011K2DZSU
edition language English

 

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About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams

A Mika Review: Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1) by Santino Hassell

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sutphin Boulevard coverMichael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.

My only prior knowledge of Santino Hassell was when I read Evenfall last year. Recently I noticed he had a new book coming out, and I wanted it. I really enjoyed what I found in Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1). It was the perfect combination of realistic fiction & contemporary romance. I loved how the author chooses to focus on everyday people, and their struggles either with their families, career, addiction, or their sexuality. I think Santino Hassell did a great job weaving all the factors together to make a very cohesive story. He has written one of my favorite guys of 2015. I loved everything about Nunzio, even his name is a turn on. For all his little quirks of insecurities that were hidden, I still found myself enthralled by his presence. I think when you read particular genres, you are bound to find someone you would relate to, or see yourself actually being with and for me in this book it was totally Nunzio.

I can’t forget about Michael, this guy had his work cut out for him. Talk about caring for everyone else except for himself. I loved seeing such a flawed character like him. He was dealing with family issues which everyone has in one way or another. He was dealing with his career, which it was sad to see him fall into a decline, but he managed to prevail. I think he had to deal with himself regarding his sexuality. I thought that played a big role in his sort of downfall. He couldn’t be himself in front of his family no matter how much he wanted us to think what they said did not matter. I liked seeing Michael’s addiction in the book; I think it’s very common for people not to notice they have a problem, until someone points it out. It was sad in some scenes, but I think this is what made this a really good story.

I liked this “friends to lovers” story. Being friends for this long, I think it was easy to be hesitant about starting something with that close a friend. Nunzio was basically an extension of himself. I completely understand Michael’s reservation with this. The secondary characters were a lot to deal with. OMG, I wanted to dismantle David, and send his body parts floating down the river. I’m glad at the end I did not, because book 2 is surely to be fun!

Cover Art by Natasha Snow Designs. One of my favorite covers out the year. This cover model is so freaking gorgeous. I think it’s a perfect representation of Michael.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 264 pages, also in paperback
Expected publication: July 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Sutphin Boulevard
ISBN13 9781634763264
edition language English
setting New York City, New York (United States)

A Paul B Review: Kissed by Death (Kissed by an Immortal #1) by Andi Anderson

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Kissed by Death coverHaving fallen for an angel of death when he almost died at fourteen, Gregory awaits to see his angel again. Will he find a way to be with his man?

Fourteen year old Gregory Harris had just hit the winning home run in his baseball game. As he is rounding the bases, he notices that is having trouble breathing. Thinking he is just tired from the game he runs harder. Just before he reaches home plate, he collapses.

Thanatos is an angel of death. His duty as the Grim Reaper is to escort souls to the final reward. When he meets young Gregory, he is bewildered that the young man is not afraid of him. When Thanatos asks Gregory why his isn’t afraid, Gregory replies that he is more sad than afraid. He believes that is parents are not prepared to lose their son yet. Gregory asks the Reaper if he could have some more time with his parents. Thanatos warns Gregory that is life will not be easy. The damage to his heart is too great that there will never be a cure. He will face pain and suffering. Gregory agrees to the terms.

Seven years have passed and Gregory is on his deathbed. He sees the Reaper once again and knows his time is at an end. After saying good-bye to his parents, Gregory has one last favor of the angel of death. As his health never permitted him to have a boyfriend, he asks Thanatos to grant him one last wish. Thanatos agrees, stating that the two days for the wish’s completion, Gregory will be in a coma and then he will die at the end of that time. Gregory wishes that he be able to join Thanatos in the afterlife.

The two of them spend the next two days in a tropical paradise. After attending a party hosted by one of Thanatos’ brothers, they realize that their time is coming to an end. Will they find a way to be able to stay together forever or must they part company when Thanatos delivers Gregory into the afterlife?

While I enjoyed the story the characters really did not connect with me as other stories by author Andi Anderson have. The romance seems a bit forced. I would have preferred maybe having several interactions between their first meeting and Gregory’s eventual death. That might have put more gravitas in the relationship. This is a decent book, just not my favorite from the author.

This is a reprint from an earlier publication. The publisher has changed but the book has remained the same.

The cover art by Latrisha Waters has two young men; one leaning in to kiss the other’s neck it appears. It’s a decent cover but makes no use of one of the main character’s being the Grim Reaper.

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

Book details
Ebook, 98 pages
ISBN: 978-14874-02998-3
Published: June 15, 2015 by Extasy Books
Edition: English
Series: Kissed by an Immortal
Kissed by Death (Kissed by an Immortal #1)

A Stella Review: Prickly Business (Portland Pack Chronicles #1) by Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★

Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.

No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.

Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes there’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.

Piper Vaughn is one of my favorite author (and a great person too). I already knew I was going to like her work no matter what,including a “new to me” author called Kenzie Cade,  whoin my opinion has married Piper’s writing perfectly. What I got to read was definitely so much more than I was expecting.

Prickly Business is not just a simple shifter story. It has everything I love to read in a m/m book: enemies to lovers, destined mates, humour, bikers. Plus an unexpected theme, the mystery. I don’t even want to tell you how much I hated the authors at the end. Here are all the premises for a fantastic and long (I hope) new entertaining series, funny and sexy, just how I like them.

The strange and unlikely couple, a hedgehog shifter and his wolf mate,  was hilarious and believable at the same time. Have you ever read about a hedgehog shifter? Well I found it a fresh and original idea, well developed in the book.  A book with essence, with is a true plot, with some deepness. I wasn’t bored for a minute, on the contrary it was hard to put it down.

There is a great second characters cast I can’t wait to meet them again pretty soon, please?

I gave Prickly Business five stars cause i simply loved it. But my pleasure increased at the end of the story where, even if I was a little angry at the little cliffhanger, I realized the next book in the Portland Pack Chronicles series will still be about Avery and Dylan. I like to read series in general but I love this kind of series, where I can follow the MCs of the book I fell in love with through their life together after the HEA. If I really enjoyed a couple I want more about them, always.

Highly recommended!

Cover art by Reese Dante. Well done! But it’s probably the first and only time I’m going to say  I could have even done without the models due to the so cute couple on the left. The wolf keeping his little hedgehog between his legs is so sweet.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBook | Amazon | Buy It Here

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 256 pages
Expected publication: July 27th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634764537
Edition Language English
Series Portland Pack Chronicles #1

Kenzie Cade on “Wheels and the Open Road” & Prickly Business Portland Pack Chronicles #1) by Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade (guest post and giveaway)

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Prickly Business Portland Pack Chronicles #1) by Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade
Release Date: July 27, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

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Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press ebook & Paperback

Wheels and the Open Road by Kenzie Cade

Hey y’all! Thanks for stopping by today and thanks so much to Melanie and the crew for having me today!

When Piper and I started planning out Prickly Business Dylan came to me almost fully formed—growly, dominant, and badass. And what does every growly, dominant, badass wolf need? That’s right. He needs a bike… or twenty.

Dylan Green fell in love with motorcycles—the mechanics, construction, and restoration—after a particularly rebellious time in his life and that love never faded.

In the research of the great machine, I sort of fell in love with them myself. And it’s not just the freedom and open road that comes from hopping on and taking off. There’s a beauty to each piece of the vehicle, each nuance.
Dylan has several and creates even more masterpieces.

Here’s is favorite. The Harley Davidson Softail. It’s a roadster, this one. Built lighter (if that’s really a thing with motorcycles) than the infamous Fatboy Lo. It’s a smoother, faster ride. Dylan’s everyday wheels of choice. Dylan has a penchant for making thigs his own. This bike is actually by customizing artist Marcus Walz. It’s a beauty, no? softail hardcoreHe’s dubbed it Sin Rival, which is translated in Spanish as “without rival.” It’s a standout while proclaiming it’s badassery for all to see.

Softail Hardcore
Next up is the Fatboy Lo with apes. Yes, I said apes—as in ape hangers: the tall handlebars that give the perception of a driver hanging… like an ape. This is the classic of all bikes in my opinion. It screams rule breaker. This bad boy is made for the long ride, average speeds, and general looking of awesomness. It’s the king of the road, and Dylan’s just along for the ride.               Fatboy Lo fatboy lo
You’ll meet Dylan’s two-wheeled dream in Prickly Business. The 1946 Harley Davidson harley flatheadFlathead is his passion. Rebuilding it is his therapy and relaxation. This machine was actually restored by Ewing Kustoms in Silver Creek, Washington. Just looking at the bike brings on a calming effect. I can just picture Dylan straddling this, letting everything go, and taking off on it. (Of course, he’ll always return because as much as he loves this bike, nothing compares to the hedgehog in his life.)

Harley flathead
And last but far from least is the Green Machine. I can’t end this post without dropping this here for you guys to admire, though I choose not to tell you its role within our story. In all reality, this guy—the M-org concept motorcycle—was designed by Russian designer Mikhail Smolyanov. The guy is crazy innovative. One of the things green machinethat attracted me to this bike, besides the outrageousness of it, is that it’s a completely eco-friendly design, made of organic materials. And what better bike for P-town than a hipster bike.                                                                                                                             The Green Machine
These are only a few of Dylan’s and my favorites. There are more to come and so much more to see. The world of motorcycles is one of freedom, rule breaking, and bad boys. Probably why I love it all so much.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! And thanks again to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me. Dylan sends his love and wishes you many long miles of open road.

~Kenzie

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Blurb:

Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.

No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.

Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes there’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.

Pages or Words: 97,000 words (approximately)

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

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About the authors:

Piper Vaughn Bio
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Kenzie Cade Bio

Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/Long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes the fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story. Contact Kenzie at kenziecade.author@gmail.com. You can also find her online at her blog: kenziecade.wordpress.com; on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kenziecade.author; and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thekenziecade.

Where to find the authors:

Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pipervaughn & https://www.facebook.com/kenziecade.author
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pipervaughnauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipervaughn & https://twitter.com/thekenziecade
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pipervaughn7 & https://www.pinterest.com/thekenziecade
Other: Website: http://pipervaughn.com,
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/104698982870458063898/posts
Other: Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/1/+KenzieCade,
Tumblr: http://thekenziecade.tumblr.com,
Blog: https://kenziecade.wordpress.com/

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Copy of the ebook or paperback (when book is released) & $10 gift card to Amazon, ARe, or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s choice),  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops: July 27 – August 7 

27-JulJoyfully Jay

28-JulPrism Book Alliance

29-Jul3 Chicks After Dark

30-JulHearts on Fire

31-JulScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

3-AugCharlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Teahouse

4-AugThe Novel Approach

5-AugMolly Lolly

6-AugSinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

7-AugRainbow Gold Reviews