A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Sense of Place by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5  ★★★★★
Sense of Place coverThe capstone in the trilogy of books making up the Thomas Elkin series, on my second read through this one, I found I loved it even more than I had the first time due to the subtle way the author tied the core of what makes this couple ticktheir keen sense of appreciation of all things architectureinto their love for each other and respect for each other’s ideas, concepts and experiences.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones have been living together for a week or so when this story opens. Things are going well for Cooper in his position, and he’s just scored a huge job based on the work he did in prep for an architectural show in Philadelphia. This job can make his career and Tom couldn’t be prouder. As the job advances, and Cooper spends more time at work, rather than let the stresses break them up, the two work together to successfully fit in “couple” time.

Cooper’s chief problem is the property developer for whom he’s working is making advances to him left and right, and Coop spends most of his time diplomatically trying to call him off. It doesn’t help when Tom is so understanding, though from Tom’s perspective, Tom has total confidence in Cooper. However, when the straw breaks the camel’s back , a small confrontation and show of possessiveness on Tom’s part is enough to make Cooper happy, and they survive to the end of the job without losing their tempers or their employment. But in the meantime, at Tom’s workplace, one of the partners in his firm is making his life miserable by questioning everything he does. He knows it’s homophobia but can’t get the guy to back off, and it eventually results in Tom making a major life-changing decision.

On the surface, this story wasn’t as complex or intense as book two, Clarity of Lines, but as I stated at the beginning of the review, the subtleties made it even better and watching the men cope with family and job pressures yet continue to grow stronger as a couple was a pleasure. Tom and Cooper have found their personal “sense of place”when the place you’re in feels like homewhere you’re at peace. <spoiler>The way the author wove this in to the marriage proposal was sweet. And, the proposal itself was unique and unexpected and totally perfect. Sigh. </spoiler>

I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a wonderful couple, with a sweet romance, age gap, and humor. And the bonus is that it leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart and a wish for more time with the men before you have to leave them. If you get the chance to read this series, by all means, don’t pass it up.
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Cover Art by Posh Gosh is very similar to the other books in the series and features the upper torsos of two men wearing suits, set against a background of tall buildings representing the architecture MCs in the series.

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

Book Details:

ebook, Special Edition
Published August 11th 2015 by Pride Publishing (first published February 14th 2014)
ISBN13 9781784307417
edition language English

A Stella Review: Free Ride by J. L. Merrow

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Free Ride coverThere’s no such thing as a free ride. Aidan may be only twenty, but he’s already learned that the hard way. Hitch-hiking up from London to Glasgow to keep a promise to a man he’ll never see again, Aidan’s fully prepared to offer payment in kind for his lifts. He’s not expecting a good-looking older bloke to pick him up in a Mercedes — nor that he’ll find John such good company. After a few short hours together Aidan’s already starting to care what John thinks of him.

When slow traffic forces them to get a room for the night, Aidan’s not sure what to do. Putting out as a thank you to a stranger is one thing, but can he really go through with it with the first person he’s come to care for since he made that promise?

And what’s going to happen when they reach their destination?

Free Ride is a short (too short) story by JL Merrow, an author whose style and writing I love very much. I was a little dubious about it, because being just 18 pages, I was really afraid it would be impossible to deliver something believable and complete. I have to stop to worrying about things when it comes to JL! These few pages show the start of a possible relationship between Aidan and John, in a sweet way and with the use of a humorous british language so typical of the author. I know, there are just brief moments  between them, but even if the aim was to just let us know how they met, it was so accomplished. I’m always not satisfied by stories like Free Ride, I think it’s pretty normal to have not enough of a couple if you have loved the few (filling) crumbs you read. I can honestly say it felt right just like that. And moreover I could feel the characters and the chemistry between them. Of course then I went on the author’s website and found out there is a micro sequel to this short story, called On The Beach (you can find it here http://jlmerrow.com/free-reads/on-the-beach/) and I was super happy! I devoured it in a flash.

I want to highly recommend Free Ride. If you already have read something by JL Merrow you know how good she is so it’s a guarantee. If you’re looking for a quick story, full of hope in the future, with an emotional undertone,  this one will be perfect for you.

Cover art by Written Ink Designs. I know, this model is been used a lot on covers lately, so it’s not so original. It’s a shame because it fits the story and it’s a good one.

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

Book Details:

Published July 19th 2015 by JMS Books LLC
Kindle Edition, 18 pages
ASIN B01091D51K
Edition Language English

A Jeri Review: Unsaid (The Manhattanites Book 3) by Avery Aster

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Rating: 2.5  Stars out of 5

Unsaid coverFor fans who loved the snarky wit of Will & Grace and the epic love drama found in Brokeback Mountain comes Avery Aster’s new full-length, standalone contemporary erotic M/M romance novel, Unsaid.

Chelsea’s hottie Blake Morgan III has reemerged from a nasty breakup. His marriage was a frigid disaster beyond repair, and he vows to be single—forever. Bruised, but still hot in Prada, he creates his Seven Desires wish list, his sexiest imaginings. Blake soon realizes there’s only one man he may trust to make these uninhibited intentions come to fruition: his best friend Miguel Santana.

Lower East Side multimedia artist extraordinaire Miguel Santana may be known as the cocky Latin stud in the city, but all he’s wanted since college was Blake’s hand in marriage. He was livid when Blake walked down the aisle with the wrong guy. Miguel has his own list titled the Seven Needs, which are quite contrary to Blake’s dirty-boy deeds. They involve serious commitments, which may leave his new-to-the-singles-scene buddy sprinting for the door, destroying any hopes Miguel has for happiness.

Can these two hunks conquer their intimate fears and love one another as only best friends can? Join

While the cover of Unsaid (The Manhattanites Book 3) by Avery Aster is hot and would draw me to it immediately, it is a bit misleading. The “main” story is about 2 guy friends getting together, but really there are several interconnected stories throughout the book involving their group of friends.

Because this review is for a blog about LGBT books, I am going to review it as such. Had I read this book for a het blog, there would be some differences.

Blake grew up wealthy, as did his group of friends. All he wanted was to get married and have a family. He thought he was on his way to that dream when he married his boyfriend. Five years later, he is watching the ink dry on his divorce papers.

One of his friends, Miguel, has had a crush on Blake since college. But Blake chose Miguel’s friend over him. He carried his torch silently for years. Until their friends start to push them together.

There are several story lines in this book. And while they are all connected because everyone is friends, I feel like they could have been separated into their own books and their stories fleshed out more.

I did enjoy the friendship of all of the characters. They really stuck by each other in life and were willing to do anything for each other. Usually a character has one, maybe two, close friends in a book. These guys were lucky enough to have a diverse crowd of friends.

A word of warning- there is het sex in the book! Teehee, just had to throw that out there. There is also a BDSM scene that will have people who are really in the lifestyle rolling their eyes at how wrong it is.

While I liked all of the stories, I wish there was more. More depth, more romance, more back story. It was just a bit too much like a soap opera for me to give it more than 2 ½ stars.

Cover is hot.  It pulled me in but I thought it was misleading.

Sales links:  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 2nd 2015 (first published August 3rd 2015)
edition language English

Its Hot Men in the Texas Heat with Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan (author interview,excerpt and giveaway)

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Buttermilk Ranch

Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan
Release Date: August 29, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Westburg Publishing
Cover Artist: AJ Corza

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Buy the book:  Amazon

 Author Interview with Patricia Logan!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Patricia Logan author of Buttermilk Ranch.  Hi Patricia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
• Where do you find your inspiration?

From TV series, movies, photos from models.

• When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I finished my first full length novel.

• Do your characters become like real people to you?

Yes. Sometimes I’m in a grocery store or a restaurant and I think, Zack Teak is such a good cook. I wonder what he would do with this anise root or I wonder whether Dmitri Hernandez’s vegetable soup would taste this good.

• If you weren’t a writer, what else would you like to have done?

I would have loved to have been an artist

• What do you want your tombstone to say?

Her words brought joy to so many people

Blurb

Wendell Blackowl has spent all his life in the working cow horse show ring where toiling with sweaty cowboys all day is the fodder for wet dreams. Though privately he’s come to terms with his sexuality, publicly Dell’s had to build a façade. When his beloved horse Buttermilk dies, Dell finds himself at loose ends so he decides to pick himself up by his boot straps and do what he’s always wanted to do… open an environmentally friendly organic vegetarian café.

Pace Avila, well known music critic, has been drawn to Austin by the live music scene. When friends invite him to check out a fresh new dinner experience, Pace reluctantly agrees to push the deadline on his national column. He isn’t interested in vegetarian food or a restaurant with the cheesy name of Buttermilk Ranch Café, but the moment Pace lays eyes on the stunning cowboy chef, things begin looking up.

When openly gay Pace walks into his cafe and his life, Dell realizes he’s tired of living a lie and tired of being alone. When Mother Nature throws an unprecedented storm at Austin, the muddy waters threaten to wipe out everything Dell’s worked so hard to build. He soon realizes that with a man like Pace by his side, love really can conquer all.

Pages or Words: 62,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Western/Cowboy

Excerpt

“Yoo Hoo! Dell, ya up there, ya sidewinder! Get outa bed or I’m gonna drag that lazy ass out!”
“What?” Pace said, startled awake as he lifted his head from Dell’s chest where he’d fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning. He wiped his face of drool and stared across the muscled chest he loved, finding Dell’s face. He had one eye peeled open and he didn’t look all too happy by what sounded like Branch’s bellowing from downstairs.
“Fuckin’ ass poor timin’,” Dell grumbled as they both sat upright in bed. Pace knew it would be pretty awful if Branch came bursting into the room with them, lying buck naked in bed. “Guess I’d better find out just what the hell he’s doin’ here.” Pace watched as Dell threw his legs over the side of the bed. He watched his ass from behind, noting the muscled expanse of his back and the thick thighs he loved so much, as the man stood.
“What the hell is he doing here? He and the boys had a show,” Pace grumbled.

“Ya rattlesnake! Ya need me to come up there and put my boot up yer ass?” Branch howled. Pace couldn’t help but chuckle. He loved his brother but he loved the disgusted look on Dell’s face more. Dell walked to the doorway and stuck his head out.

“I’ll be down in a minute, ya jackass… unless ya want to see me in all my nekkid glory!” Dell yelled back.

Pace heard a chuckle coming from downstairs. “Hell naw! Get some clothes on there, scarecrow! Yer movin’ slower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, here we go,” Dell said, glancing over at him. Pace just buried his face in the pillow and laughed.

Meet the Author

Patricia Logan resides in Los Angeles, California along with her husband, four children, her grandchild and ever increasing number of cats. When not being stage mom, baking cookies, or scooping kitty litter, she writes steamy, award winning, gay erotic romance and tries to lead her readers on a journey of discovery with more than a little angst.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ploganauthor
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorpatricialogan?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaLogan1
Other: author website: http://authorpatricialogan.com/

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Buttermilk Ranch’ by Patricia Logan.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Final

Tour Dates & Stops:
29-Aug Three Books Over The Rainbow, Happily Ever Chapter, Because Two Men Are Better Than One,

Inked Rainbow Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

31-Aug Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Jena Wade, Divine Magazine, Cathy Brockman Romances

1-Sep LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Ogitchida Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog

2-Sep Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, 3 Chicks After Dark, Books A to Z, Love Bytes, Emotion in Motion

3-Sep Molly Lolly, Bike Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Up All Night, Read All Day

WillPride

What Happens In Vegas Charity Blog Hop and M/M Short Story: ‘Waking Up Married in Vegas’ by Hunter Frost

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Vegas-Hop-Graphic

Welcome to the What Happens in Vegas Charity Blog Hop!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be a participant in this charity event and is hosting author Hunter Frost.  Welcome, Hunter.  Please tell us more about this event and your charity!

From Hunter Frost:

The Marriage Equality Blog Hop revolves around a bunch of authors, bloggers, and reviewers who want to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to affirm marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. By featuring stories of love and marriage between LGBTQ couples and promoting charitable organizations that focus on assisting and empowering the LGBTQ community, we hope share our joy in an important historical moment.
The charity I chose to promote is The Center in Las Vegas. The Center is a full-service community center that serves the city’s LGBTQ population by providing educational programs, free HIV and STD testing, vaccinations, internet and computer stations, a lending library, and other helpful resources.http://thecenterlv.org By donating to the The Center here: http://www.thecenterlv.org/get-involved/rainbow-circle/donations you help support these highly desirable programs to the LGBTQ community in Las Vegas.

Now for Hunter Frost’s short story. Enjoy!

Waking Up Married in Vegas

By

Hunter Frost

Officer Reed Weston ran his hands through his hair as he exited the elevator on the twenty-fourth floor of the Golden Nugget, keeping an eye out for Grant’s suite number. It had been six months since that first fateful night on Freemont Street when they had met, and Reed still got butterflies before each rendezvous.

After their inaugural vacation together in Kauai, they decided to fly out to visit each other once a month, which soon turned into every other week, and finally every weekend. The traveling was tiring and expensive, but Reed couldn’t imagine any more time away from Grant. And he assumed Grant felt the same. Reed had never been this obsessed with a man before, but for some reason he welcomed the once terrifying concept.

He knocked on the proper door, wishing Grant wouldn’t spend the money on a room when they could just go back to his place. But Grant wanted to be as close as possible when Reed ended his graveyard shift. At least for one night of the weekend, he always said. And Reed couldn’t deny he appreciated Grant’s need to squeeze as much time out of their weekends as possible.

“You alone?” Grant called out from inside.

Reed raised his brow. Interesting. His ex had called him boring, but the man inside that room had been anything but since Reed had known him. “Um…yes?” Reed answered hesitantly.

Grant didn’t reply, but the sound of locks opening prepared Reed as the door swung wide.

And there stood Grant – completely naked with a massive hard-on.

“Fuck me,” Reed whispered at the beautiful sight. Sexy as all get out, Grant was even sexier in the buff. Lean and trim, he somehow avoided the spare tire that Reed found himself constantly fighting off. Maybe he should take up swimming, if it helped him look as fine as Grant did.

Reed wasted no time in striding forward to reach for him, as Grant jumped into his arms and wrapped his legs around his middle. Reed went in for a kiss when Grant yelped.

“That’s gonna leave a mark.” Grant shifted in Reed’s arms and blew out a breath.

“What did you crush?” Reed chuckled. Next time, he’d remove his duty belt before lunging for a naked man…when not in the line of duty, of course.

“Nothing like that, just caught some skin on your gun holster.” He answered like it was something that happened every day.

“I’d be happy to kiss it better,” Reed murmured, as Grant tightened his arms around Reed’s neck. Reed had missed this – being able to hold him, smell him, and stare into his chocolate brown eyes. Grant’s bare ass in his hands didn’t hurt either.

Grant nibbled on his ear, making him shiver. “It’s really high up on my inner thigh,” he whispered.

If Reed wasn’t hard before, he was steel now. “Is that supposed to discourage me?”

Grant laughed, and Reed pulled him into a kiss that had both of them moaning. Before they got too carried away, Reed said against Grant’s lips. “I need a shower first. It’s been a long night.”

“No, I like the smell of danger and deviancy on you.”

“More like sweat and sorrow.” He could smell it. “You sure?”

“Positive.”

“You’re kinda kinky.” Reed kissed him again with a growl in his throat and carried him over to the bed, reluctantly letting him drop. This is where he’d been dreaming of getting Grant since yesterday morning. He removed his duty belt and placed it on the stuffed chair beside the bed.

“Let me do the rest,” Grant said, as he untucked Reed’s yellow polo from his cargo pants. Grant rested back on his haunches as he pushed Reed’s shirt up. Reed pulled it off the rest of the way.

Damn, Grant’s hands drove him crazy as they traveled up Reed’s abs and spread across his chest. He circled Reed’s nipples – now as hard as his cock. “Jesus, if you don’t let my cock out, I might pop the zipper right off.”

“I’d like to see that,” he said, unfastening Reed’s pants with urgency and pushing them down with his boxers. “Next time.”

When Reed’s cock sprung free, both of them groaned. The tip was already dripping.

Grant used the pre-come to stroke him slowly and deliberately, making Reed’s eyes roll up in the back of his head. “God, that feels incredible.”

“And I know it’ll feel incredible in my ass,” Grant replied, reaching over to pick up a condom off the bed, where a handful of them had been scattered.

Reed arched a brow. “My you’ve become such a dirty, dirty boy. What happened to my boring accountant?” He smirked and unlaced his boots, removing them and the rest of his clothes.

Grant ripped the condom rapper open with his teeth, looking up at him with mischievous eyes. “It’s impossible to be boring around you. You encourage my wild side.” He grabbed Reed’s cock and stroked.

Reed bit his lower lip and slid his hand into Grant’s soft hair. “You bet I do. Any hot-blooded man would be a fool not to.” He kissed him hard and deep, needing to feel the crush of his addicting lips and the hot slick of his tongue.

Grant slid on the condom and massaged Reed’s balls, drawing out a guttural moan. Grant already knew so well how his body would respond to his intimate caresses.

Reed slid his hands down to Grant’s chest and broke the kiss as he pushed him down to the bed with a thump. Reed then slipped his hands under Grant’s ass, spreading his thighs with his face as he dove down to kiss and lick at his inner thigh, skirting Grant’s cock and balls. “Is that the spot that needed kissing?” he asked.

“Uh huh,” Grant grunted. “So much better. But there are plenty of other spots you can tend to…”

“How about this spot?” Reed asked, as he titled Grant’s ass forward, spreading his cheeks as he tickled the puckered hole with his tongue.

Grant gasped. “Oh, God, Reed…yes.”

Reed laved at his tender flesh, licking and nibbling, until Grant nearly writhed out from under him. Reed pushed his tongue in as far as he could manage, Grant’s panting and curses almost too much for Reed to take without spilling his own seed.

“Now, Reed. Please fuck me.”

Grant’s begging had Reed scrambling onto the bed, lining his cock up to that glorious hole. Considering the condoms were lubed and he had made a wet feast of Grant, he figured he could slide in fairly easily.

Grant groaned as Reed pressed his cock inside, so hot and snug. Reed gritted his teeth to hold back the orgasm that already had his balls tight and on edge.

“I could live in there,” Reed whispered.

Grant chuckled, his breath ragged, as he lifted his hips. “You could stay forever.”

Reed smiled back, matching Grant’s rhythm, wondering if they were still talking about sex. But his thoughts were cut short as he bit back his climax. “I’m gonna come, baby,” he managed to say, pumping faster into Grant, angling toward his prostate. He wouldn’t stop until Grant got off.

“Yes, yes…Do it,” Grant said, his face betraying his oncoming orgasm. “You know I’ll be right there with you.”

God, yes. As Reed thrust, his climax ripped through him, sending electric jolts through his entire body.

Grant grasped Reed’s hand tight, no different than the very first time they slept together. Reed realized he’d come to crave that intensity, that connection, which only Grant had been able to give him.

“I’m coming, I’m coming…” Grant yelled, as he shot all the way up to his neck. His body jerked under Reed, who stroked Grant’s leg with his free hand.

When they both finally relaxed, Reed moved to slip out of Grant. He kissed the hand that held his and got off the bed.

“Where are you going?” Grant asked, his eyes still closed. His legs were bent at the knees and spread wide, his expression spent and absolutely beautiful.

Reed shook his head to clear it. “Shower. Now, I really need one. And there’s no way I’m going to completely funk up the bed we’ll be sleeping in later.”

Grant chuckled. “I’ll join you in a minute.”

“I’m counting on it.”

#

Grant woke up with a start. Pressure on his shoulder and his name in a deep, hushed voice came from the dark mass next to him in the bed.

“Wake up, Grant,” Reed whispered, squeezing his arm.

Grant blinked his heavy eyelids, nerves suddenly on edge. “What? What is it? Is everything okay?”

“No, it’s not.”
“Are you hurt? What’s wrong?” Grant shifted to sit up and felt for Reed’s solid form, touching his body as if trying to find something out of place.

Reed sat up, grasping both of his hands in his. “No, it’s not that.”

Grant leaned back against the headboard, relief washing over him.

“I can’t do this anymore,” Reed said, his thumbs brushing the top Grant’s hands.

The words slammed into Grant like a mack truck. Did he mean…them? Grant searched through the entire day in his head, wondering what had happened to provoke Reed’s change of heart. They had had a wonderful day as usual, ordering breakfast from room service after more sexy fun in the shower. Grant insisted Reed nap after that, considering he had met him right after his shift. Then they drove out to Red Rock and did a short hike since the fall weather finally made it bearable. Once they had dinner at Reed’s favorite local pub, they came home, fooled around and promptly fell asleep.

“What do you mean?” Grant asked, his voice higher than he expected.

“It means I love you and I can’t do this back and forth thing anymore. I must be losing it because I can’t even stand being away from you for five days.”

Grant’s mouth went slack. Boy, did he jump to the wrong conclusion.

But wait.

“Did you just say you loved me?” The silence following made Grant lean over and turn on the light so he could see Reed properly. “Did you hear me?”

Reed squinted. “Yes, I nodded ‘yes’.”

“In the dark.” Grant chuckled and Reed joined him.

“Sorry.”

Grant grabbed his face and kissed him quickly. “I love you, too.”

“Thank God,” Reed said, wrapping his arms around Grant’s waist. “But I’m sick of missing you. I want to be next to you, in the same city, the same house, waking up in the same bed.” He paused and visibly swallowed. His blue eyes darkened. “Marry me, Grant. I don’t care if it’s crazy. I’ve never felt this way about someone.”

Grant couldn’t get his eyes to work. Shock made them blink uncontrollably, while tears stung them from behind. “You’re serious?” He said, for lack of anything better. Of course he wanted to marry Reed. He was the best thing that had ever happened to him. Coming to Vegas to forget his ex may not have been the smartest thing he could have done, but it was by far the luckiest. To know that Reed felt the same about him made the tears fall.

“Are these happy tears?” Reed whispered, bringing his hands up to catch the watery trails with his thumbs.

“Of course they are, you big dummy,” Grant said, playfully punching him in his meaty chest.

“Is that a yes?” Reed asked, pulling him closer.

Grant nodded. “Yes, Officer.”

Reed groaned and then proceeded to kiss every ounce of life from his body, until he laid limp in his arms.

Grant didn’t know how he managed to speak after that. “Where will we live?”

“I don’t care. If you want me to move to Ohio, I’ll go. I could find work there. That’s the bonus of being a police officer.”

“What about your Mom and the Silva family and the rest of metro? They all need you.”

“You know my Mom loves you. And so does Silva, Allison, and the kids.” Reed smiled. “They’ll understand. Especially knowing how happy I am.”

Grant took a deep breath. He wouldn’t deny that he’d thought about moving in with Reed and even marriage, but he never expected it to happen so soon. Still, he knew what he wanted. “If you don’t care, then I’m moving here. I don’t think you’re done here in Vegas.”

“Really? Could you leave your parents and Lisa? Lisa won’t know what to do with herself.” Reed smirked.

“With the new baby coming, and my Mom so busy doting on her soon-to-be grandbaby, they won’t even notice I’m gone,” Grant grinned. “Besides, they can afford to miss me for a while. It’s about time I leave the nest.”

Reed chuckled. “You’re my brave little bird.”

Grant rolled his eyes and shoved him. “We could revisit the whole living situation every few years, just to make sure we’re happy with the arrangements.”

Reed wrapped an arm around Grant’s neck and kissed his forehead. “You’re so smart.”

“Level-headed,” Grant corrected him.
“Then you’re going to freak out when you hear what I have to say next.”

Grant blinked. “What?”

“Let’s do it now.”

“Sex? Sure.” Grant trailed a finger down Reed’s chest. “You know I’m always game for that.”

“Not that.” Reed pressed Grant’s hand against his chest. “I meant, let’s get married right now.”

“Now?”

“This is Vegas. You can get married at all hours of the day or night and same-sex marriage is now legal in Nevada.” Reed’s blue eyes grew brighter as he talked. “Elvis could marry us, or…we could even get Captain Jack Sparrow to officiate. I know how much you love Pirates of the Caribbean. We’ve only watched every movie five or six times together.”

Grant gasped. “Captain Jack Sparrow? Really?!”

Reed nodded slowly, his smile widening.

Grant thought his head might pop off. First, Reed drops the bomb that he can’t do this, then he tells him he loves him, and last he proposes to him all in the span of a few minutes. But Captain Jack Sparrow? Oh my… Grant jumped off the bed. “We gotta shower. Do they rent tuxes this late? Or do these places provide pirate clothing?”

Reed laughed. “I’m sure these places provide anything we could need. You get in the shower first. I’ll call around.”

Grant ran towards the bathroom, but turned back to wrap his arms around Reed from behind. He pressed his lips to Reed’s ear. “I love you so much, Reed Weston.”

Reed grabbed Grant’s hand around his neck and nuzzled him. “And I love you, Grant Carroll.”

Grant squeezed his fiancé one more time before heading toward the shower. “Oh my God, I’m going to get married tonight…By a pirate!” He could hear Reed laughing as he closed the bathroom door.

#

Daybreak broke through the small slits in the blinds, waking Reed. He blinked lazily and smiled, watching the bright light play across Grant’s golden hair. His husband laid next to him, flat on his stomach and dead to the world. It had been a whirlwind trip, starting out as wonderful as always, and ending with the two of them married by Captain Jack Sparrow. He couldn’t believe he had been the first one to suggest marriage, let alone to suggest doing it right then and there. But this was no normal man snoring next to him. This was Grant Carroll – the boring accountant from Columbus, Ohio, who came into Reed’s life drunk and adorable, stealing Reed’s broken heart with the uncoordinated wink of his eye and the purity of his soul. And just maybe his fine ass.

Reed looked down at Grant’s hand, the silver band they had purchased at a pawnshop on his finger. Reed wore the matching one. The bands shined bright even in the dim light of the room, much like he hoped their lives would. And as Reed moved to cover Grant’s hand with his, he knew as long as he had Grant by his side, it all was worth it.

THE END

CHARITY

The charity that I chose to feature is The Center, a communal complex in the heart of Las Vegas that offers a variety of wonderful services to the LGBTQ community. I’ve visited this amazing place and immediately felt welcome and part of something much bigger than myself. Besides an extensive lending library, computer stations, and other educational resources, they provide free HIV and STD testing and vaccinations. It is a clean, safe place for anyone to visit if they desire. I wish there were more centers such as this to service the Las Vegas and surrounding areas.
http://www.thecenterlv.org

AUTHOR BIO

Hunter lost a bet at a blackjack table and begrudgingly traded temperate Southern California for the sweltering heat of Las Vegas. There she resides with an extremely tolerant boyfriend and two cats named after her favorite beverage, Latte and Java.

When she’s not dreaming of returning to coastal living, Hunter works at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from where she recently received her Master’s in British history. In order to appease her muse, she writes the kind of fiction that keeps her sane. She adores romance in all forms, but prefers her stories with two heroes that find their happily-ever-after with each other.

You can find Hunter Frost here:

http://www.twitter.com/HunterFrostMM
http://www.facebook.com/HunterFrostMM
http://www.HunterFrost.net

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September is Here and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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September and Fall

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Leaves have started to fall, yet I’m still working on our Best Books of Summer 2015 Part II.  While I do, here is our schedule this week.

Sunday, August 30:

  • September is Upon Us and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 31:

  • What Happens In Vegas Charity Blog Hop
  • Its Love and Texas Heat with Patricia Logan’s Buttermilk Ranch
  • A Stella Review: Free Ride by J.L. Merrow
  • A Jeri Review: Unsaid (The Manhattanites Book 3) by Avery Aster
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady: A Sense of Place by NR Walker

Tuesday, September 1:

  • Cover Reveal for JK Hogan’s ‘Unbreak Broken’
  • Riptide Book Tour : Fall and Rising by Sunny Moraine (contest)
  • Book Spotlight: Viki Lyn ‘Lover’s Trill’ (excerpt and contest)
  • A Mika Review: Bent Arrow by Posy Roberts (double  dipping review)
  • A Stella Review: Bent Arrow by Posy Roberts

Wednesday, September 2:

  • Coffee Sip and Book Break: Thianna Durston’s ‘Discovery’ {excerpt and giveaway}
  •  Love Heats Up with TC Blue’s ‘Sexual Frankenstein’ (contest)
  • A Stella Review: Red Hot – Coffin Nails MC California by KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review: Taxes and Tardis by N. R. Walker
  • A Paul B Review: Craig (Gillhan Pack #3) by Catherine Lievens

Thursday, September 3  Happy Birthday, RJ Scott!:

  • Throwback Thursday:  A Barb  the Zany Old Lady Review: The Summer House by R.J. Scott
  • Posy Roberts ‘Bent Arrow’ book blast  and contest
  • A Mika Review: Trust by Sarah Masters
  • A MelanieM Review: Put A Ring On It by K.A. Mitchell
  • A BJ Review: TBA

Friday, September 4:

  • A Closer Look at A SHOOTING STAR by Joe Cosentino (guest post and contest)
  • Spotlight:  L.A. Witt’s Running with Scissors tour and contest
  • Book Blast and Giveaway: Like A Lover by Jay Northcote
  • A Stella Review: Speedy Rewards by Jeff Erno
  • A MelanieM Review: No Place Left to Run by Zarah Detand

Saturday, September 5:

  • STRW Best Books of Summer 2015 Part II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Books and Covers of August 2015

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Best Books and Covers of August 2015

Looking back at our August 2015, never have I seen so many wonderful books as we read and reviewed this month.  Normally I would include those books with a 4.5 or higher rating, but we had so many excellent 5 star novels this month that I had to stop somewhere and left those off this time.

Did you miss out on any of our reviews listed below?  Give them and the books another look now.  These stories are too amazing to be missed.  And don’t forget the covers that we loved just below that.  Does it match your own lists this month?  Write us and let us know!

Best Books of August 2015 – ★★★★★

Get Your Shine On by Nick Wilgus (A Stella Review on 8/5)
Redemption by Eden Winters (A MelanieM Review on 8/7)
Evolution by Lissa Kasey (An Aurora YA Review on 8/8)
Definitely, Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed (A Mika Review on 8/11)
Diamond Edge by Laura Harner (A MelanieM Review on 8/12)
The Harder They Fall by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau (A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review on 8/13)
The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune (A Stella Review on 8/14)
The Pillar the Kim Fielding (A BJ Review on 8/14)
Lucky Linus by Gene Grant (A Mika Review on 8/ 15)
The Homecoming by J. Scott Coatsworth on 8/21 (A Paul B Review)

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Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan, narrated by Iggy Toma (A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review on 8/17)

End of a Series:

A Piece of Cake by Mary Calmes (Jory and Sam) (A MelanieM Review) on 8/14

 

Favorite Covers of August 2015

Ink & Shadows coverDefinitely Maybe Yours coverLucky Linus coverThe Homecoming - cover2

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows and Ink by Rhys Ford, cover art by Anne Cain
Definitely, Maybe. Yours by Lissa Reed, cover art by Buckeyegrrl Design -made Mika want to read the story,
The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune, cover art by Paul Richmond, powerful and unique
The Pillar by Kim Fielding, cover artist is Shobana Appavu.  Stunning and rich as the story
Lucky Linus by Gene Grant, cover art by Paul Richmond, photograph is again the reason Mika wanted this book
The Homecoming by J. Scott Coatsworth, cover art by London Burden, Paul thinks its one of the most gorgeous covers he’s seen all year.

Special Mentions to Kate McMurray’s The Rainbow League Series, cover art by Aaron Anderson.  Wonderful.

The Pillar coverThe Lightning Struck Heart cover

The Long Slide Home cover

Thrown A Curve cover

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of the Summer of 2015 Reads – Part I

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 STRW Best Books of Summer 2015

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Best Books of Summer 2015- Part I

The approaching end of summer and the list of stories I was compiling of the books we loved to read this summer of 2015 made me think of several things.  First it brought back all those memories of those past summer best sellers. Perhaps you might even remember them. Those stories that we (of a certain generation) gobbled up with a ferocity now saved for certain cable and internet shows.  We read them, discussed them and then read them again.  All against the backdrop of the laid back and at the time endless atmosphere of summer – vacations, to die for romances, and a autumnal seriousness that we pushed as far away as we could manage.

Now I look at the New York Times Best Seller List and notice that seasons don’t make the impact they once did.  And I think, perhaps its due to a revision in peoples reading habits.  We read on the go now. I do it too.  My Kindle’s has made that much easier (I’m on my second one at that).  But I can also read on my iPhone or computer.  Doesn’t matter.  I still do have my hardcopies, shelves of them.  ( I will never give those up.  That’s along the lines of dying with your boots on or bookmark behind your ear…or something.)  And I will continue to haunt bookstores because I love them and that’s an addiction of mine.  Don’t judge.  But ebooks have changed my reading habits, made it easier for me (enlarged fonts sigh) in so many ways as I suspect they have for others.

I especially love that I can carry hundreds of books in a itty bitty device in my purse and reading whatever whenever.  *blinks innocently* That’s amazing, wonderful and just darn light…as in weight.  No, I don’t miss those heavy tote bags of books to the  beach let me tell you.

So I asked this of my reviewers:

Is there such a thing as a summer book anymore?  It used to be the big book everyone lugged to the beach to read, like Stephen King’s It ,Alex Haley’s Roots or Frank Herbert’s Dune.   Or maybe just a ton of  books you had been wanting to read and now had a chance to over “the vacation”.  Does the summer book exist anymore?

Here are some of their answers.

From Barb the Zany Old Lady:

“I don’t think of books as “summer reads” anymore because, when I pick up my e-reader and get into a good story, I go on vacation in my mind.  In other words, I don’t physically have to go away somewhere to enjoy a good book.  Just picking the right story and having the ease of an e-reader allows me to escape to my own version of “Fantasyland.”

From Mika:

“For me, I think the summer fad of books has definitely faded. Since e-books are so easy to bring around, I never see myself waiting to read a certain book, or carrying any books around. I think it also might be a generation thing as well. I haven’t stepped foot in a library since I was in elementary school, and I know some of my older friends still check out library books. The only books I purchased from stores are cookbooks, and sometimes I order them online.”

 From Melanie:

For me?  I have to agree with them.  I look for favored books to release all year long, not just at certain times, like the summer or Christmas.  My reading habits have changed and not just because of the blog.  There are other considerations as well. So for me, my summer reading blockbusters are wonderful memories of all genres.  Now I just don’t have to shake the sand out of the tote bag or off the books after I get home!

 How do you feel about it? Email us and let us  know. Your replies will appear in Part II of our Best of 2015!

Now on to some of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  favorite Summer of 2015 Books!

 Carry the OceanDefinitely Maybe Yours coverRed Dirt Heart 4 coverOut of the Blue

 

 

From Mika

who says “surprisingly 4 new authors to me as well as a favorite and someone who I’m liking only their contemporary novels.”

Definitely Maybe Yours, by  Lissa Reed
Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Dangerous Spirits by  Jordan L. Hawk
Out of the Blue by R.J. Jones
Red Dirt Heart 4,  by N.R. Walker
Trust the Focus, by Megan Erickson
Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan

AgainstTheGrainFSLGIn the Middle of Somewhere coverThe Boss

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From Jeri:

Repaired Melissa Collins
Boss (Boss #1) by Ashley John
Against the Grain (THIRDS #5) by Charlie Cochet
In the Middle of Somewhere (In the Middle of Somewhere #1)by Roan Parrish

From Barb the Zany Old Lady:

 (more from us coming in Part II)
Tigers on the Run coverLead Me Not coverDeepOfTheSound_600x900Brute cover

A Paul B Review: Zach (Gillham Pack, #2) by Catherine Lievens

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Zach coverZach desperately wants to be with his mate Kameron.  However, his sister’s husband is forcing him to stay away or else Ella will be hurt.  Will Zach be able to help not only his sister but also himself?

Kameron has been Alpha of the Gillham pack for six months.  He has felt a pull towards fellow pack member Zach for well over a year.  The only problem is that Zach does not smell like his mate.  Disappointed that the tell tale sign is not there, Kameron still spends all the time he can with Zach.  When he decides three months into his Alpha tenure that he wants Zack as his mate despite not being fated mates, Zach disappears on him.  Hurt by his disappearance, Kameron tries to move on by leading his pack.

Having known Kameron was his mate for seven years has been hard on Zach.  He first realized that Kam was his mate when he was fourteen, too young to do anything about it.  However, in order to protect Zach from their previous Alpha Erskine, his parents obtain some pills that mask Zach scent to Kam.  After Kam has defeated Erskine in an alpha challenge, Zach’s hopes of getting together with Kam are dashed when his brother in law Stan threatens both his sister Ella and Kam if he doesn’t come live with them to take over the household chores from a pregnant Ella.

However, that does not prevent Zach from sneaking over to the alpha house to catch glimpses of his should be mate.

After Kam and his friends rescue both Zach and Ella from Stan’s house, Zach explains the whole situation to Kam.  Kam insists that the injured Zach recovers in the alpha suite.  As the two renew their friendship and move toward a relationship, Zach decides his role is to be alpha mate.  However, one of the former inner circle members who had been abusing pack members slips apprehension.  Tom goes to the alpha house to look through the office files when Zach surprises him.  Tom subdues the injured man and takes off.  When Kam returns from interrogating the prisoners they do have finds Zach gone with no sign of a struggle, he isn’t sure what happened.  Was Zach kidnapped or did he run away again like the last time?

This is the follow up to Xavier in the Gilliam Pack series.  This is a good follow up to the story that was hinted at in the last book.  The reasons for Zach being so elusive in the first book are fully explained here.  The major theme of the book is misplaced distrust of one’s mate.  Zach does not trust Kam to help him out of his situation.  Kam does not trust Zach not to run away again, which caused a delay in his rescue.  The scene stealer in this book is the elephant screw shifter that was rescued from the labs.

The cover art by Latrisha Waters shows a well-built torso with a wolf looking out in front of him.  It’s a fairly standard cover for a shifter story.

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

Book details

Ebook, 116 pages
Edition:  English
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0387-4
Published:  July 15, 2015 by Extasy Books

Series:  Gillham Pack

  • Xavier (Gillham Pack #1)
  • Zach (Gillham Pack #2)
  • Craig (Gillham Pak #3)

A Jeri Review: The Long Slide Home (The Rainbow League #3) by Kate McMurray

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Long Slide Home coverNate and Carlos have been the best of friends since their childhood playing baseball together in the Bronx. For the last few years, Nate’s been in love with Carlos, though he’s never acted on it, and Carlos has never given any indication that he returns Nate’s feelings. Nate has finally given up, determined to move on and find someone else, especially now that Carlos has shacked up with his boyfriend Aiden.

Carlos doesn’t understand why Nate has suddenly gotten weird, acting cold and distant at team practice for the Rainbow League. But if that’s how things are going to be, Carlos is done trying to figure Nate out. But then Aiden starts to show he might not be the man Carlos thought he was, and Carlos needs his best friend’s support. Worse, he starts to realize his feelings for Nate might not be limited to friendship. But in the aftermath of his relationship with Aiden, and with Nate having problems of his own, the timing is all wrong to make a real relationship work. As emotions run high, both have hard time figuring out what is real and what is just convenient.

Sometimes it takes something to open your eyes to the possibilities. For Nate, it was watching Carlos dating Aidan.

Nate and Carlos have been friends since they were kids. Growing up in the same neighborhood of the Bronx, their mutual love of the Yankees and baseball in general, and Nate practically growing up in Carlos’ Puerto Rican family since he only had a single working mother.

They played on the same team in the league and were both out of the closet. Everyone assumed they were together until Carlos started dating Aidan.

Nate is losing his chance to have Carlos as his own- but he is also losing his friendship with Carlos. He never hangs out after games with his friends, he leaves directly after practice and doesn’t say much to anyone. Until he shows up at Nate’s door with a bruise on his face.

Watching these two navigate through their friendship to something more was really beautiful. They struggle to find the balance between friends and lovers, while navigating baseball, Carlos’ huge family and a rebound situation. You just want to cheer for them to make it through.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson who did the covers for the first two stories as well.I loved having both main characters on the cover of the book, which again, follows the same art as the previous two.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published August 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original title The Long Slide Home
ISBN139781632169723
edition language English
Books in the Rainbow League Series are: