A Stella Review: Crossing Borders (Crossing Borders #1) by Z.A. Maxfield

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Two dudes walk into a bookstore…

Crossing Borders coverTristan knows he’s got issues. His latest ex-girlfriend knows it too. He can’t blame her for dumping him—even though she gets her brother to do it for her. Since he can’t stop staring at said brother’s package, he figures it’s about time to put a label on those issues. He likes guys.

He heads to a local bookstore with what he’s sure is a foolproof plan to find someone to show him what he’s been missing. But who should crash his little adventure? Officer Michael Truax, who gave him a really expensive ticket back in high school for skateboarding without a helmet.

Michael has been trying to catch Tristan for years…to give him a second ticket. Suddenly faced with “Sparky”, all grown up and looking to get laid, Michael’s protective instinct kicks in—and presents him with an opportunity that’s hard to resist. After all, the kid must know what he’s getting into, so why not? 

But when a man with a plan connects with a man with a hunger, the result is nothing short of explosive.

Crossing Borders is the first book written by the talented ZA Maxfield in the 2007 and the first published work. This second edition by Samhain pub is not so different from the first one. I liked the author’s note at the start of the book, she was right, it was fun to see how things has changed in almost 10 years.

I didn’t read the first edition and I can tell you why. Honestly I didn’t like the old cover, at all. I know I’m a totally cover whore so I couldn’t pass the book anymore when I saw the amazing new one made  by Kanaxa. It’s simply beautiful or better, HE is beautiful. And I’m not going to talk about freckles or red hair, my truest weaknesses.

It was a while when I didn’t read a ZAM’s book, I forgot how well she can writes and creates amazing characters. And how hot too her stories are! I loved the chemistry between Tristan and Michael, or as they call each other, Sparky and Officer Helmet. Crossing Borders went straight to my fave shelf. It has everything I want in a story. First of all well defined characters. Tristan and Michael were perfect, their story was, i don’t know how to say better, almost dissected and told us in detail, just how a real relationship would have developed. They were adorable in their bickering, in their loveable loving.

The story was sweet too and if you have read other reviews I wrote you know I need my books to be sugary (this one just a little bit). There were some really hilarious parts, that lightened it even more. Moreover I enjoyed the second characters too a lot, especially their moms, supportive, caring and loving.

The age difference, which I love in my books, wasn’t so huge as I was expecting. Considering Tristan is so young, just 19 years old, it could have been more evident but I didn’t feel it at all.

What I loved more in the story was the feeling of belonging I got from the MCs even when they weren’t full aware of it yet. It kept me from put the book down for a minute.

There was some drama but no angst in the book; the only thing that bothered me a little was the part just before the ending, it ruffled something that was too smooth to upset to me, I could have done without easily. That’s why I haven’t give Crossing Borders a full five stars rating but it’s there, I am just being a nit picker! So highly recommended.

COVER ART by Kanaxa.I already said it was this cover that pushed me to finally read Crossing Borders but I want to add that I love her art style, especially in some m/m series she’s working on, like The Plumber’s Mate or The Shamwell Tales by JL Merrow, or the Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan but most of all the Bend or Break by Amy Jo Cousins. I find them clean but always fitting the stories in their simplicity.\

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

BOOK DETAILS

Published August 4th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Kindle Edition, 271 pages
ASIN B00YE202W6
Edition Language English

previously published story, 2nd edition

A MelanieM Review: Obsidian Sun by Jon Keys

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Differences must be put aside when vengeance becomes all-consuming.

ObsidianSunFSAnan, a spellweaver of the Talac people, returns from a hunting trip to find his village decimated, his mate dead, and everyone else captured by Varas slavers. The sole survivor is Terja, a young man without the velvet that covers most Talac, marking him as a spellspinner. Since Talac magic requires both a weaver and a spinner, Anan and Terja must move beyond their ingrained mistrust. All that remains is revenge and a desperate plan to rescue their tribesmen before they are sold to Varas pleasure houses. A goal Anan and Terja are willing to die for.

With the blessing of the Talac gods, they discover new and surprising ways to complement each other’s power. But as they race through terrain full of enemies and dangerous creatures to reach their people before they pass into Varas lands, they must take drastic steps to face the overwhelming odds against them. Understanding their connection might be their only hope.

What a wonderful debut novel from Jon Keys!  The story was imaginative, heartbreaking, layered and beautifully developed.  What a high mark to hit with your first book.  But first a sentence or two about the power of a book cover.  You see, it was that amazing Paul Richmond cover that caught my eye and made me want to  read the blurb.  Those eyes combined with the presence of skin marks and a web?  Mysterious and compelling.  I had to know more.  What I found matched that powerful  cover in every way.

Obsidian Sun by Jon Keys is a story told from multiple points of view (one of the only issues I have with the story).  We start with Anan, a spellweaver of the Talac people coming home from a hunt to carnage.   Anan’s village  has been raided by the Varas people, the dwellings burned, the people horribly murdered except for those younger members taken for the slavery trade and for their velvet skin.  Yes furred skin.  The Talac, a semi-nomadic tribe, is a clan of furred individuals, with the exception of the hairless spellspinners.  That marked velvet covering of their bodes makes them prized not only as sex slaves (it seems the Varas are addicted to sex with them) but they are skinned as well, various colors like golden velvet prized above all others.  These facts reveal themselves slowly as Anan goes about the gruesome and heartbreaking business of checking the bodies and readying himself for the “release  ritual”.  But he’s not the only one left alive, there is one more person hidden away . Terja, a young spellbinder.  Together they do what they know is required to release the souls of the dead and swear vengeance on the Varas traders.

Keys’ descriptions of Anan and Terja’s final sweep of their village and the scenes that follow are haunting, poignant, carrying a deep emotional impact that will stay with the reader.  Yes, it had me in tears. It also serves to bring us immediately into this amazing world and the cultures of the people that live there.

There are at least two distinct cultures at war here…that we know of.  But the one we immersed in completely, at first,  is that of the Talac people.  The Talac have several strata of tribes that make up the whole, that includes the Kuri tribes that follow the kuri animals much like some western American Indian tribes did the buffalo.  The author weaves many Native American tools and beliefs here into his story.  In one  scene, Anan and Terja cook a stew using the Eastern Woodland Indian method of putting a hot rock inside the  stew to cook from within inside of sitting a pot on the fire, handy when using bark containers inside of pottery.  Bark is lightweight and easy to transport, not so much a heavy clay pot, something very important if you are a nomadic tribe.  The use of native resources by Anan and Terja also echo the ways indigenous peoples all over the world use the land and animals around them.  Its an element that flows through this story and it gives their universe both a familiar yet alien feel to it.  This layering gives Obsidian Sun a realistic aspect to it that helps connect us to it and the characters.

That also brings us to spiders.  I love spiders, all of them.  Here the similarities also arise between spiders and the Talac.  You can divide spiders into 2 types of carapace types.  One is furred, some gorgeously so (like tarantulas and jumping spiders, which have all the colors of the rainbow and more patterns than you can imagine). Other’s have a hairless carapace that shines as though its been shellacked. Most orb weavers are of this type.  That mimics the two skin types of the Talac.  But it goes further with the Talac gods, and the  Twined Beings, First Weaver and First Spinner, avatars to the Gods.  They appear as  humongous  spiders.  Spiders and weaving form the weft and warp of this story.  From the religious rituals and cultures myths Jon Keys creates and then uses throughout his story to the weapons  and fighting styles,  Keys’ imagination and ability to translate those ideas into emotionally laden,  action packed scenes and storylines is stunning.  So is his love of and ability to use natural history to enliven and deepen his plot and characters.  Nothing is left to chance, even the spider silk is used much like the silk worms are here, right down to the technique required.  Really, its just amazing how well Keys meshes known natural history with his own creations.

There is a growing romance between Anan and Terja, brought on by need and circumstances that becomes something deeper and spiritual (and incredibly sexy).  Their hunt for vengeance is suspenseful,  and heart stopping, especially when they are in peril.

But there are other characters involved and that brings me to my only issue here.  There is far too many points of view.  Different characters , some of the kidnapped Kuri, others of slaves in residence, voice their perspectives of the action and their captivity.  This format of multiple povs only serves to take the momentum away from the developing relationship between Terja and Anan and cuts the reader off from the anticipation and suspense of the ongoing hunts for the traders and the slaves.  I understand why Jon Keys wanted us to see the “captives” side but there are other ways of establishing the terror they are undergoing while giving us the information he wanted to impart about the Varas people.  Too many voices muddy the narrative and that happened here.

Multiple perspectives aside, this is a powerful, layered saga, one I hope will continue.  The ending is a HFN, leaving so many options for a sequel to go forward.  I certainly hope that Jon Keys is already hard at work to give us one.

Obsidian Sun (a solstice event much like our solar eclipse) is a must read novel by Jon Keys!  If you love fantasy, mythology, natural history and imaginative world building combined with sex, love and adventure, then this is a story for you.  I  can’t wait to see what Jon Keys has in store for us next, hopefully a sequel!  Fingers crossed.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  One of my favorite covers of the month, perhaps even the year.  This cover clearly demonstrates the power of a cover to entice you into reading a story by a picture alone.  Perfection.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published July 10th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634762922

Its Fantasy and Romance with Surrounded by Crimson (Sumeria’s Sons #4) by Lexi Ander (excerpt and giveaway)

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Surrounded by Crimson (Sumeria’s Sons #4) by Lexi Ander
Release Date: July 1, 2015

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

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Sales Link:   Less Than Three Press | Amazon

 

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Tristan has agreed to bond with Ushna but there is still much to do and returning to Tribe Enkidu puts everyone on edge. Tristan is being stalked like prey all the while fighting depression as he mourns the loss of Nikita and enduring a battle of wills with the Elder Council over his birthright. The pleading of his adoptive daughter only adds still more stress to the situation.

Stumbling onto a secret prison while searching for Ushna leads Tristan to risk everything to free a lost God. But breaking the tie to his Flame has more repercussions than Tristan knew and the assistance of a forgotten Goddess and a centuries old lover may not be enough to save him.

Pages or Words: 48,000 words

Categories: M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Ushna was out of the car and greeting his parents before I unbuckled the seatbelt. Hami wasn’t as tall as his son but he was wide, very wide, barrel-chested with a set of deltoids on him the size of small children. His dark hair was cut above the ears and I’d never seen the man without at least three days growth of facial hair. It looked good on him. That kind of scruff made me resemble a bum.

Donya was tall and lean, one of those women who had a natural sway when she walked. Her blue-black hair fell to her waist in thick glossy waves. Her skin was a deep almond, darker than her husband’s or son’s, and her bright, emerald-green eyes were large and expressive.

They both greeted Ushna with festive exuberance, and why not? I’d kept him away from them for a very long time. I observed them for a moment over the hood of the SUV. Hami picked his son up in a bear hug, laughing loud and boisterous. Donya took his face between her palms as she gazed deeply into his bi-colored eyes—eyes that were forever changed by me. At that thought, I wondered how they truly perceived me. My stomach rolled with anxiety-induced queasiness.

With all the grace of someone my size, I made my way into the house, leaving Ushna to his family reunion. I had hoped we wouldn’t see them until after the children were born. I’d entered the home stretch of my pregnancy. Even with the ring of illusion, I had a hard time hiding my condition. Early in my pregnancy, Gregori had fashioned a ring of magic, creating the illusion that hid my continually growing stomach and constructed a normal appearance.

A pregnant male wasn’t something we wanted to explain to humans. With the looming threat of assassination, if my identity was discovered, we thought it best to continue to keep my birthright a secret until after the children were born. So I’d continue to wear the illusion even though the ring wasn’t much help now. The giveaway was in the walk and the way I stood. People could see there was something different by how I held my body and it couldn’t be helped. I was able to hurry, in spurts, and then I lumbered like an elephant—very National Geographic.

Neesie followed me into the kitchen. She was dressed differently than what I’d become accustomed to. Gone were the combat boots, black jeans, and white tees. She wore a pale blue silk blouse, a pinstriped pencil skirt, and knee-high black stiletto boots. She appeared fierce in a whole new way.

“Why didn’t you wait and greet Ushna’s parents?” she asked.

With a plate in hand, I inspected the cold cuts tray that sat on the kitchen counter. I was starved and wanted something quick to eat before everyone came in. When I didn’t answer Neesie, she took the plate from me and started placing fresh vegetables on it.

“I thought I’d give them some time to catch up,” I finally replied. It wasn’t a complete lie. “They haven’t had their son to themselves in quite some time. They don’t need me hanging out in the background.”

Neesie pinned me with her golden-brown gaze. “That is such bullshit and you know it. What’s the real issue?”

I quirked a smile at her. “You know I love ya?”

“Yes, and you’re the one who called me for dating advice because you suck at subtle. Your ‘hey moron, get your hands off my sister’ ranked right up there.”

“I can’t help it if Mr. Octopus Arms was oblivious to his audience.”

“Go ahead and keep playing that song because I know you still refer to him as Lonnie Fucking-Fowler. Before you walked into the house, your face turned green and you practically sprinted in here.”

“Ahh, stampede!” I gave mock crowd screams. Neesie was not impressed.

“Spill, jackass.” She shoved a full plate into my hands and a chair under my ass. Neesie glared at me but her expression was filled with concern.

“Fine, you tyrant. I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted to be able to show them that I am a strong partner and worthy of their son’s love and devotion. But right now I’m huge, and miserable, and swollen, and hungry. Why did you give me carrots? You know I hate carrots. You’re trying to torture me, aren’t you? I’m an elephant, not a rabbit. I get like peanuts or something, not Bugs Bunny hand-me-downs.” I threw the carrot at my cackling sister. The woman was not remorseful.

“Tristan.”

I threw another carrot at Neesie before turning to see who called for me. I swallowed a curse as I faced Donya. She stood in the doorway, her large green eyes soft and liquid as she searched my expression.

“Ma’am?” Embarrassingly, my voice cracked like I was fourteen years old.

“How can we not be proud of you, son?” Donya crossed the room in a smooth glide and gently took me in her arms. “We’ve always been proud of you, Tristan, don’t ever believe differently.” Tentatively I embraced her in return and ignored Neesie’s sniffles.

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STRW Author Bio and Contacts

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

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

 

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Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions. Enter to win the Rafflecopter Prizes:
• Prize offered: $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• hard copy of Surrounded by Crimson, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson
• e-book copy of Surrounded by Crimson

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A MelanieM Review: Fallout (Flight HA1710 #4) by Meredith Russell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Can missing a fatal flight be the wake up call Harrison needs?

Fallout coverWhen Harrison Kelley is banned from getting on Flight HA1710, it seems to be the perfect ending to a crappy couple of days. Not only did he wreck a wedding, but he’s drunk way too much and been on the receiving end of the groom’s brother’s fists. Being escorted out of the airport by security was just the icing on the wedding cake.

Elijah Pettifer has lusted after Harrison from afar for years but Harrison never sees him as anything more than a friend. If he ever saw him at all. While attempting to defend what little honor Harrison has left, Elijah gets caught up in the wave of chaos surrounding his teenage crush. But missing his flight home because of Harrison’s mess might just be the luckiest thing to ever happen to him.

With a 24 hour ban imposed by the airport, and having only each other for company, the two men grow closer. But will the fate of the airplane they should have been on be the push Harrison needs to walk away from the toxic relationship of his past? And can Elijah make Harrison see exactly what he’s been missing out on because of it?

The saga of doomed Flight HA1710 continues with Fallout by Meredith Russell.  This time the crash and aftermath affects not the passengers or crew but two people who missed the flight.  Harrison Kelley’s closeted boyfriend of many, many years is getting married, only not to Harrison but to an unsuspecting woman.  Harrison is but one of the wedding party at a destination wedding attended by many of a close set of friends.  One of those friends is Elijah Pettifer, is  crazy about Harrison, has been since their school  days but Elijah has always been overlooked because of Harrison’s passion for Anthony,  your basic self centered user.

Now all gather to celebrate Anthony’s wedding and the situation combusts when Anthony not only expresses his intention of continuing their “secret” affair after the wedding but is caught by Harrison with another man.  Talk about an unhealthy relationship.

And that’s part of my issue with this story.   So much of it is Harrison acting like a jerk, weeping over his long term affair with the closeted Anthony, who is as self serving as he is  emotionally cold.  Harrison, of course, gets drunk and acts out, and behaves generally like a “lover scorned” instead of the adult he is supposed to be.  Harrison’s connection to Anthony is almost one of obsession, one that’s a little masochistic at that.  If, as a reader, you connect to Harrison’s misplaced (and years long) passion for Anthony and sympathize with him, then you will like this story.  If, like me, you found yourself growing tired of his whining and actions, then you will find yourself getting impatient with the characters and the storyline.

Elijah is a caring person, a man who lusts after Harrison because of a drunken kiss in their youth. Yes, there is a pattern of alcohol abuse (Harrison’s) that is not directly addressed here and I think it should have been given its many mentions in the plot.  It takes most of the story before Harrison is able to see him as a person and treats him accordingly.  And yes, it often felt as though Elijah had a doormat in place of a spine.

What saves this book for me is the lack of instant love and a relationship. This is definitely a “promise” of more, instead of an actual romance.  The aftermath of the crash and the emotional impact is handled believably.  The character of Harrison feels realistic too, he’s just not someone I connected with.  For me, it was a nice story in a collection of novels I’m enjoying but not an especially memorable one.

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  Wonderful covers for this series, great for branding and for the characters in each story.

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 3rd 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN13 9781785640162
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Flight HA1710 series

6 authors, 6 primary works

When Flight HA1710 crashes killing seven people the after effects are too many to think on. But how does the crash change people’s lives? From the pilot to the guy who missed the plane we chart the stories of those whose lives were impacted by the crash.

 

A Paul B Review: Remy’s Painter (The Werewolves of Manhattan #2) by A.C. Katt

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 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Remy's Painter coverRemy Clavier has just taken over as second in command of the North American Council of Werewolves and Garou Corporation. While searching for a base of operations in Manhattan, he finds a series of buildings in Brooklyn. As soon as he can get his townhome renovated, he can move out of the leader’s condo that he is staying in while the Alpha and his mate go on a year long combined honeymoon and business trip.

Ian Sullivan is desperate. His brother and father have been killed in a car accident. However, Ian believes that it was no accident. He believes that their deaths are attributed to the loans that his brother owes to Sal Ferrara, a member of one of the New York mobs. During the funeral, the mobster comes to Ian and tells him that he know owes his brothers debt. He can either pay up or become his personal sex toy. He gives Ian until Friday to come up with the first payment or else Ian becomes his.

Not wanting to have anything to do with the Sal, Ian decides to keep the one appointment remaining before his family was killed. Now being a one-man operation instead of three, he knows there it little chance of getting the job. He vows he would rather kill himself before he has to fulfill the terms set out by Sal.

When Remy opens the door to the man who is bidding to repaint the townhome, he recognizes two things. First, Ian is his mate. Second, the desperation smell coming of Ian. Third, the man is human. He makes up his mind to convince the young man to be his. He bends over backwards to award the job to Ian. Then he sets out a plan to convince Ian to accept that werewolves are real and that he can help him solve his problem with his mob stalker. When Remy sends representatives to pay off the debt, he is flatly refused. Remy realizes that this is personal. How can he solve Ian’s problems without starting a war with the mob?

I enjoyed this second novel in the Werewolves of Manhattan series. It follows the same basic premise of the first in which a human is in trouble and stumbles into his werewolf mate rescuer. Sal is a decent bad guy and furthers the story line of the tense relationship between the New York mafia and those of North American Council of Werewolves. I expect this tension to continue in further novels.

The gorgeous cover by Winterheart Designs shows depiction of Remy and Ian as I would picture them with Remy’s wolf howling at a moon. This is set above a New York skyline.

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

Book Details:
Add it to your Goodreads List here
EBook: 172 pages
ASIN: B0106CFR7C
Published: June 2015 by MLR Press
Edition: English
Series: The Werewolves of Manhattan:
His Omega (Werewolves of Manhattan #1)
Remy’s Painter (Werewolves of Manhattan #2)

In the Paranormal Spotlight: Claimed (Wild Hunters #2) by Desire by Skye Jones (author interview and giveaway)

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 ClaimedBDesire_cover

Claimed (Wild Hunters #2) by Desire by Skye Jones
Release Date: July 27,2015

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Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Cover Artist: Liquid Silver Books

Sales Links:  Liquid Silver Books | Amazon UK | Amazon  US | Barnes & Noble

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Our Chat with Skye Jones…

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Skye Jones author of Claimed by Desire.

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

Thanks for having me I am a fairly newly published author in the romance genre, although I have been writing for years. I write paranormal and contemporary M/M, M/F, and M/M/F romance.

Claimed by Desire is book two in the Wild Hunters series but can be read as a standalone.

Tell us the ten moments that stayed with you from any book.

Oooh I love questions like this. I love reading and there are so many moments that stay with me. So bear in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive, and I have probably left out some great moments! This is in no particular order:

• The moment in Truth in The Dark, by Amy Lane, when Knife gives Aerie-Smith the missing chess piece of the dark king. This book really moved me. It’s a wonderful story, with incredible writing. A fairy tale that breaks your heart and then mends it back together again. I adore Amy Lane.
• When Sam meets Mitch in Special Delivery. I blame Heidi Cullinan for giving me a trucker fetish! I want my own Mitch.
• In Cujo, by Stephen King, when the mother and child drive up to the house where Cujo is and you are just filled with this sense of incredible dread.
• The moment in Pride and Prejudice when Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth Bennet. I don’t know why but I love this part in the book. I think his words and actions sum Darcy up, and make his change all the more remarkable. To be honest, every single moment in Pride and Prejudice has stayed with me!
• In Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan, there’s a moment the heroine realizes Archer can’t speak. It’s really powerful. I absolutely loved this book.
• One of my favorite books is Rachel’s Holiday, by Marian Keyes. I love the moment when Rachel (who is in rehab) realizes she isn’t actually different or superior to everyone else, and that actually she has serious, major, stuff to sort out and is an addict.
• The moment in The Woman in Black when the narrator first sees Eel Marsh House. This book is genuinely terrifying. It builds such a sense of evil and dread as the story unfolds that it stays with you for years after you’ve read it. I had a lot of sleepless nights after reading this! But it is a brilliant, superbly told tale.
• The moment in Touching the Void when one friend is forced to leave another for dead. This isn’t a fictional book, but a true account of a horrific climb gone wrong. There is also a film, which is fantastic. Even if you’re not remotely interested in climbing (like me) this is a gripping read.
• The moment in Hot Head when Griff and Dante realize they are in love. This book is such a favorite. It’s a real happy place, comfort read for me.
• The end of English Passengers. What a book! And one of the best endings I’ve ever read. Can’t say anymore or I will give it away.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Dylan Roberts returns to the Wales of his birth a changed man after the violent death of his mate. Having turned his back on being a bounty hunter and sworn off love for life, all he wants now is revenge.

When he meets Aeron Lombardo, his new farmhand, Dylan resents the intense attraction that blossoms between them. But Aeron won’t stop pushing and soon things take a hot and sexy turn.

As passions rise, danger rears its ugly head. Now Dylan and Aeron must choose whether to separate or commit to one another totally. Will Dylan take the final step and claim his new mate?

Pages or Words: 148 pages

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

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“Turn around.” Dylan’s low voice echoed in the bathroom.

He did as instructed, skin goose bumping in the chill air. Thick fingers touched either side of his torso and gently pressed down into his lower back. “Does it hurt?”

He shook his head.

“Turn back around.”

He faced the front and watched as Dylan moved large hands over his torso, gentle but firm. He pressed a little more on the right hand side. “What about here? Hurt at all?”

“No.” He exhaled a shaky breath. No matter how much he told his dick not to take interest in the proceedings, he became more and more aroused at every touch.

Then Dylan did something so strange it snapped him out of his fog of desire. The man leaned in towards Aeron and sniffed him.

“Jesus.” Aeron took a step back, butting up against the sink behind him. “Did you just smell me?”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Skye Jones is an erotic romance author who likes to write about that moment when lust and love meet and head on.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skye-Jones/297399473794965
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skye-Jones/297399473794965
Twitter: @skyejromance

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 gift card to one winner, two e-copies to two other winners, Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops:
20-Jul
MM Good Book Reviews

21-Jul
Full Moon Dreaming

22-Jul
Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

23-Jul
Amanda C. Stone

24-Jul
Prism Book Alliance

27-Jul
Jessie G. Books

28-Jul
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

29-Jul
Love Bytes

30-Jul
Divine Magazine
Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

31-Jul
BFD Book Blog

3-Aug
Multitasking Mommas

4-Aug
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

5-Aug
Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

6-Aug
Carly’s Book Reviews

7-Aug
EE Montgomery

10-Aug
Rainbow Gold Reviews

11-Aug
My Fiction Nook

12-Aug
Happily Ever Chapter

13-Aug
Inked Rainbow Reads

14-Aug
Molly Lolly

Cover Reveal for Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens (excerpt and giveaway)

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Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens
Release Date: August 17, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Felice Stevens
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

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Blurb:

On 9/11 firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt
made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual
and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian in turn helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

Pages or Words: Approximately 78,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Excerpt from Beyond The Surface:

Julian was in the kitchen, sitting on one of the stools by the counter. He had a glass in front of him filled with what Nick presumed was vodka, having spied the Grey Goose bottle.
“Would you like a drink? I have beer, wine…anything you’d like.”
Nick shook his head, regret piercing his heart as he watched the hope drain from Julian’s eyes.
“I don’t think so. I’m going to head home. I want you to know how much I appreciate what you did for Jamal tonight.”
Julian stood abruptly, kicking the stool away from his feet.
“Don’t treat me like I’m some fucking stranger, Nicky. You owe me. It’s been eighteen years; you think I’m going to let you walk out on me again like you did before? After what just happened between us? After you fell apart? No fucking way. I’m not that same person and neither are you, obviously.”
Taken aback by Julian’s anger, Nick remained mute.
“What the hell is going on with you? One minute you’re tongue fucking me into the next century and the next you’re freaking out. I know I’m a damn good kisser, but this isn’t about us, is it? It has nothing to do with our past and everything to do with you and the shit that’s floating around in your head.”
Julian stepped closer to him and Nick, who normally couldn’t stand people near him, was rooted to the floor, unable to move.
“Talk to me, Nicky. Tell me what happened to you.”
He was so tired of holding himself together, feeling like at any moment he’d shatter into a million tiny pieces, leaving nothing behind but a pile of dust.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
The words poured out of him, flowing unchecked this time. “It should’ve been me. We all went to the Towers to save them. It was my day off, but I went anyway. I heard and couldn’t stay home; I had a duty to help, you know? But I lived and they all died. Why, Julian? Why did I live and they didn’t?”
“Oh, Nick.” Julian held him close. “I don’t have the answers for you. No one does. But I’m going to be completely selfish and say I’m so thankful you did make it and we’re here together after all these years.”
Unflinching green eyes gazed back at him. Clever, beautiful eyes that Nick could never stop dreaming of. Eyes that at one time had held the promise of forever, until Nick ruined everything with his cowardice and shame. Unable to maintain Julian’s scrutiny, Nick broke away and ran to the elevator, his chest heaving, eyes stinging with tears.
“Let me out. I need to leave here. NOW.”

About Felice Stevens:

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.

But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felice.stevens.1
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor?ref=hl
Twitter: @Felicestevens1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest/felicestevens

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Tour Dates & Stops: July 28, 2015
Parker Williams, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Bayou Book Junkie, Jessie G. Books, Bike Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Charley Descoteaux, Molly Lolly, Amanda C. Stone, Bookaholic Confessions, Havan Fellows, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Ogitchida Book Blog, 3 Chicks After Dark, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Reviews by Jessewave, Christy Loves 2 Read, MM Good Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance, Velvet Panic, Happily Ever Chapter, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Love Bytes, Multitasking Mommas, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Michael Mandrake, It’s Raining Men, Mikky’s World of Books, Divine Magazine, Andrew Q. Gordon

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Contest

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Beyond the Surface’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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A Mika Review: One Snowy Night by Louise Lyons

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

onesnowynight-savoyfontMain character, Keith Brambles, is an up and coming British singer. He has had one disastrous first date after another, finding most men are only interested because of who he is. After yet another failed meeting, he sets off for home, driving too fast for the conditions. He loses control of his car in the snow and finds himself stranded – with no mobile phone signal and an outfit completely unsuitable for braving the freezing conditions.

Just as Keith has begun to think he’s destined to spend a night in his car, possibly suffering from hypothermia, a potential rescuer arrives, but Keith wonders whether he might have more to fear from the man, than the weather.

I enjoyed this sexy short novel.  One Snowy Night by Louise Lyons is my first read by this author, and it makes me want to venture into more of her writing. I liked the characters. However, I wanted more of the story, and wish it was a full length novel. I was glad to see the author was different in her representation of Keith’s love interest. I think Keith expected Mike to be some bigoted biker guy, and was gladly shown otherwise. I liked the contrast between both guys, not just in looks but personality either. Mike was sweet, and very protective during the time that Keith was there. I liked Keith as well. I’d love to see these guys in a full length novel some times, or maybe another short.

Cover Art by ?: I did not understand the link between the story or cover. It did not match up to anything in the story at all. I think it’s nice, but very misleading.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 26 pages
Published March 15th 2015 by Wayward Ink Publishing
ASINB00TXHK0PG
edition languageEnglish

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review ~ On the Clock (Market Garden #8) by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
OnTheClock_600x900Those who have been following the Market Garden series since the debut of Quid Pro Quo may have been as excited as I was to finally get the story of the man we all knew as Rolex. Never one to hesitate to lay out the cash for a hot night of sex with the rent boys from Market Garden, Rolex has earned a reputation among the rentboys, especially his two favorites, Tristan and Jared. But they have retired, so with their recommendation for a guy named Jason ringing in his mind, he enters Market Garden in search of his new playmate.

Jason has been given a heads-up by Tristan and Jared and when he asks the John for the time and spots the Rolex on his wrist, he knows this is the man he’s been waiting for. Blake Raleigh visits London several times a year and is no stranger to spending money to blow his mind, and other parts as well. But he hasn’t met a negotiator of Jason’s caliber before. Jason actually gets off on the negotiations, and the higher the price, the better, so when Blake agrees to his initial request for his 18K gold cuff links, Jason is all his for the night. And what a night! It’s so good, in fact, that Blake occupies Jason’s time every night for the entire week.

But Blake can’t seem to forget Jason when he returns back home to the US, and neither, apparently, can Jason forget Blake. The two text and Skype and really start get to know one another. But Jason is still a negotiator, and when Blake accepts his offer for a hot night of voyeurism on Skype, Blake is shocked to see the threesome Jason has arranged. Tristan and Jared have joined Jason for the “show”—a very expensive show which ends up costing Blake 15 quid, a price Blake considers well-earned when he sees what Jared is willing to do on camera.

During the next real-time visit, Jason earns himself a first class ticket to the US to accompany Blake for a week, and it’s during that week that the two become much more than rentboy and client. That week, because Jason gets ill, is all about companionship and friendship, and after Jason leaves, Blake feels like there’s a huge hole left in his life that only Jason can heal.

But will Jason see it that way? How can Blake convey his feelings to Jason when they are five thousand miles apart? And how can he ask Jason to give up the work he loves?

Readers will enjoy the hoops Blake is willing to jump through to get to Jason, but be prepared for tears as Blake learns that not everything he wants can be bought or bargained for. This is an enjoyable story, with some extremely hot sex scenes, but some equally poignant quiet moments. I was very happy to see Tristan and Jared again, but overall, I was disappointed in the story because it didn’t live up to my expectations.

I never felt the spark of attraction—that push-pull of ying and yang we often feel when the authors fan the flames of sexual tension between two MCs. We knew Blake as Rolex in previous stories, but this Blake didn’t have the same feel, and somehow his persona wasn’t as magnetic or as powerful as he had been previously. Jason was attractive, but again, I wasn’t pulled to him. I wasn’t rooting for him. And I wasn’t terribly convinced that the two should be together long term. So yes, the guys get their HFN, or HEA, whichever way you want to look at it, but I wasn’t at all excited about it.

I do recommend this to those who have read the series, especially the books featuring Tristan, Jared, and Rolex. The series just wouldn’t be complete without it. And it is a good story, with lots of hot sex scenes, and many readers may feel the spark that fell short for me. It can be read as a standalone, but it would be much better if readers complete Quid Pro Quo, Take it Off, and Payoff first.

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Cover art by L.C. Chase depicts a gold stopwatch on the black background which ties the Market Garden series stories together. And, though the cover is very sharp, I’m disappointed that it wasn’t a wristwatch which would represent the main character in this story—the man who was called Rolex in the first three books.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 219 pages
Published July 13th 2015 by Riptide Publishing (first published July 12th 2015)
original title On the Clock
ISBN13  9781626493261
edition language English
Market Garden seriesFor love or money . . .

Welcome to Market Garden, a London club that caters to the better-off. Businessmen and bankers come here to relax and indulge in their every whim and fantasy, and Market Garden offers it all in top-shelf quality: threesomes, voyeuristic pleasures, domination, ropes and camo and leather. Men of every stripe, colour, and nationality deliver these high-end services—everyone has their reasons to sell sex. And it’s the hottest sex in town.

And sometimes, it’s even served with a side of true love.

Books in this series are:

A Paul B Review: Breeding Stations (Alliances #1) by Chris T. Kat

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Breeding Stations coverWhen a first contact mission led by Berit Turner goes horribly wrong, he turns to Tom the Nasdic for comfort. They must return to the scene of the disaster to prevent a future alien takeover of Earth.

Berit Turner is known for two things– his ability to make first contact with new planets and being the playboy of the galaxy. When his team arrives at the planet Ligador, nothing would indicate that this would be changing. Ligador is a peaceful earth like planet with lush forests, oceans and no known advanced civilization on the planet surface. His team’s mission is simple. Collect plant and soil samples and search for intelligent life.

Tom is a Nasdic warrior. His race is know for their fighting skills but also their insatiable sexual appetites. His people, along with Earth have faced the Tash’Ba for several years. Upon meeting Berit, Tom (the name he gives to humans as his Nasdic name is unpronounceable for them) decides that he is his mate. Berit is of the opinion that a night or two of fun with the sexy alien would be quite enjoyable but a full time commitment is not in the cards.

When Berit takes his team along with Tom and his crew to the Ligador surface, things become FUBAR rather quickly. Breaking up into two teams that explore plus a third team to watch the spacecraft, they soon realize that the sensor readings on the planet are horribly wrong and the planet is actually being used by the Tash”Ba as a breeding stations for monsters that they use to destroy the population of planets they plan on invading. Their next target planet from Nasdic intelligence says it is Earth. After losing most of his crew, Berit and Tom along with two others return to the main spaceship to recover and mourn the death of the colleagues. While recovering, Berit comes to the realization that maybe his existence is a lonely one without someone to share it with and agrees to mate with Tom. The Alliance decide that the breeding station on Ligador must be destroyed and Berit, Tom and their friends Connor and Ni must once again go to the surface and battle these genetically modified creatures. Will the quartet survive a second trip t the surface?

I really enjoyed this romance action adventure start of this new series. It had me thinking of a cross between Star Trek (first contact, science missions), Star Trek:TNG (the Tash”Ba have a lot of similarities to the Borg without being an outright copy of them) and Jurassic Park series (with the genetically modified creatures running amok on Ligador). The pairing of two alpha males has enough spark to make their pairing interesting. Neither wants to back down when they are on the surface and puts them both in danger at times. The character that steals the later portions of the book is the Ligador native (or is she) Fleur. I look forward to see where the author will take this series.

The cover art by Anne Cain shows are two heroes in the foreground with the Ligaorian landscape below. Berit is facing toward the audience with Tom having his back to it. It’s a nice cover for the book.

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

Book Details
Ebook: 204 pages, also in paperback
ISBN: 978-1-6476-175-8
Published; July 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition: English
Series: Alliances
Breeding Station (Alliances #1)