A MelanieM Review: Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

RedesigningMaxFSRenowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires Fredi to revamp his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out-and-proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes he remodels, and Max is just too hunky for words.

When Max comes on to Fredi, the designer can’t imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?

Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out is the most exciting and wonderful time in his life, despite the conservative former friends who think they’re saving him from sliding into hell.

I discovered author Pat Henshaw and her Foothills Pride series with her What’s in a Name? novel..  It’s warmth, attractive location (and story behind that setting) as well as a group of characters that charmed the pants off me and each other and well, I couldn’t wait to see what the author had in store for the next installment.  I found out with pleasure with Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2).

Where did the series name Foothills Pride come from?  The author’s note explains “During the recession at the beginning of the 21st century, many gays and lesbians moved from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento to the Sierra Foothills. FLAG (Foothills Lesbians and Gays) was formed. This series was written for them.” Pat Henshaw takes that fact and uses it for inspiration, weaving the clash of cultures that arises when the arriving urbanites (gay or otherwise) move into  long established homogenous communities.  If that community is also white, conservative, and small town, then the divisions between them might be even greater. Or surprisingly small, depending upon the people involved.

Redesigning Max introduces us to Fredi Zimmer.  Fredi is an extremely talented, much sought after interior designer and artist.  He is connected to several of our couples from the first story in that he designed their coffee houses (Jimmy and Felicity) and bars (Guy).  Fredi is not just openly gay but “beautifully’ gay, colors and patterns clothe his body as well as his designs.  I adore Fredi, he has fought hard to become the man he is, with some horrific memories lurking just under the surface to mark just how difficult the battle has been.  At times, Fredi is also defiantly, “you go, girl” in your face gay.  What Fredi doesn’t  do is ever back down.  Wait until you meet “Boner”. Then Fredi meets Max Greene.

Max Greene is a shy, huge outdoorsman, owner of successful sports store Greene’s Outdoors.  Max wants Fredi to redesign the isolated log  cabin he inherited from his uncle..  In reality Max is searching for more..  A lifetime of repression under his uncle’s rule have left Max shy, backward when it comes to romance and his sexuality, all of which Fredi starts to awaken.

Max is no typical shy giant.  Henshaw, thank goodness, has made Max far more complicated than that.  Max has a sense of humor, a deep goodness, a love of nature and artistry that matches Fredi’s so that their union makes complete sense.  Pat Henshaw gives us two seemingly disparate characters who are so alike inside that when they “click”, we get it because it makes so much sense.  They spend time together, designing the cabin, getting to know each each, which helps make their relationship feel real because we watch it grow in steps.

As with the first novel, they come up against the conservation faction that is against their community’s rising tide of gay population, made worse when its one of their “own”.  Henshaw’s descriptions of the pain and anguish this hatred causes is authentic and believable.  But its balanced, happily by that ending which I loved.

At the very end we get a bonus excerpt of the next Foothills Pride story,, Behr Facts! Woot!  I can’t wait.

Do you love contemporary M/M romance?  Not familiar with Pat Henshaw and her Foothills Pride series?  I can recommend them both.  They don’t have to be read in order. You will get people from each book mingling in the others, so much fun. Pick them up and  enjoy them both.

Cover design by AngstyG.  I like this cover.  The models are close to my ideas of Max and Fredi (not perfect, but hey).  The only thing is Fredi is all about the color…where is that?

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 29th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original titleRedesigning Max
ISBN139781634763172
edition languageEnglish
seriesFoothills Pride #2

Foothills Pride Series:

A Jeri Review: On Solid Ground by Melissa Collins

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

On Solid Ground coverWhen Jacob “Dax” Daxton returns home from war, he has to fight a new battle – the one to find his place in the world. The man who normally has a clear path to victory surrounded by brothers in combat is suddenly lost and alone. After meeting Beckett Ridge, a bearded tattoo artist, Dax’s journey begins winding down an unexpected path.

Still reeling from events that shook his foundation, Beck has never been part of anything meaningful. Now faced with responsibilities foreign and daunting, Dax’s broken spirit mends Beck in ways he never even knew he was destroyed.

As both struggle to find balance, they are healed by the comfort they find in one other. On the other side of chaos, they hope to find themselves On Solid Ground

You know when you finish a book, you smile and sigh? Yep, Melissa Collins did that to me. Again.  Even the cover of this book screams love and romance. Sigh again.

I believe this is only her second or third M/M book but you would never know it. Her characters are flawed and real- just as their relationship is.

Jacob “Dax” Daxton is home from war and adrift. He never felt that he could live up to his “perfect” older brother, especially since he was gay and his family didn’t know. He meets a tattoo artist, Beckett Ridge, and is instantly attracted. Beck has his own set of issues to deal with- including a niece he has custody of and a drug addicted sister.

Watching the love bloom between these two characters was beautiful. Neither of them were “jerks”, as is often the case in M/M (at least to start off), they leaned on each other when they needed to and gave each other space when that was warranted.

Of course there was turmoil and angst. What great love story doesn’t have that? It was at times intense, emotional, romantic and sexy. This book has everything you are looking for in a love story without the sticky sappiness that often goes along with it.

Both of these men struggle to find their way, and luckily for us, they find their way with each other.

Cover art by

Sales Links:    Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by M Collins Author LLC (first published January 2nd 2015)
original title On Solid Ground
ASINB00S88Y534
edition language English

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: The Harder They Fall by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Harder They Fall coverTad, a spoiled and neglected rich kid, has been raised with money and privilege but not much else. His parents barely know he’s around, but keep his allowance coming—an allowance that Tad uses to show off what a big shot he is at the expense of others.

When Tad revisits the brothel where he humiliated a young, inexperienced whore the last time he was there, he asks for an older, more experienced man. He’s looking forward to another night of domination and dishing out humiliation—actions that make him feel good about himself.

He does get an older man, but instead of getting an old, washed-up whore like he requests, he gets “Daddy”, a big, strong, gorgeous, older man with a major domination streak. And Daddy doesn’t care what Tad wants—Daddy is going to give Tad what he needs. And what he needs is punishment—to be forced into obedience and subtly enlightened about his real and underlying issues. A little humiliation in front of the young whore he previously abused, an opportunity to be Daddy’s good boy—to be with someone who seems to actually care about him, and Tad suddenly isn’t interested in leaving.

Daddy-kink lovers, this one is for you! It’s an enjoyable M/M story, with subtle undertones that address Tad’s psych issues and the resolution a D/s relationship might bring him. I would definitely like to read more about these MCs.

Book Cover: Simple, but contains an element of the story.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 68 pages
Published July 20th 2015 by Smashwords Edition (first published July 18th 2015)
original title: The Harder They Fall
ISBN139781626493247
edition languageEnglish

Amelia C. Gormley’s Strain Universe is Back with Juggernaut-Book 2 (contest)

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Juggernaut by  Amelia C. Gormley
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: L. C. Chase

Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing

 

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to welcome Amelia C. Gormley  here today to talk about Juggernaut, the latest release in her Strain universe.  Welcome, Amelia!

Hi, and welcome to the Juggernaut blog tour!

Almost before I was done writing Strain, my mind began trying to fill in the blanks of the world we saw in Strain, trying to piece together what had led up to that point. I decided I wanted to write a story chronicling the apocalyptic pandemic, both the events leading up to it and the immediate aftermath. The result, of course, was Juggernaut.

On the Juggernaut blog tour, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the world of Juggernaut/Strain/Bane, including several cut scenes from Juggernaut which I felt contained important world-building details that in the end just didn’t fit the flow of the story. I’ll also be sharing a couple sneak previews of the third book in the Strain universe, Bane (coming September 21 from Riptide Publishing) as well as giving away three e-copies of Bane before it hits the shelves!

                                                                            Giveaway

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post including a way to contact you (email, Twitter, or Facebook.) Each stop along the blog tour that you visit offers you another chance to enter.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Riptide Publishing.

Be sure to check the Riptide blog tour schedule for a complete list of other stops. The contest will close Saturday, August 15th, 2015 and the winner will be contacted no later than Monday, August 17th. Any entries made without a way to contact the winner will be invalidated, so please don’t forget to provide your email, or your Twitter or Facebook address. Contest is NOT limited to US entries.
Good luck, and enjoy the tour!
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About Juggernaut

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.Juggernaut_600x900

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

*****
About the Author

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

Blog: “http://ameliacgormley.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ACGormley”
Tumblr:  “http://ameliacgormley.tumblr.com/”
Facebook:  “http://www.facebook.com/ameliacgormley”
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6445292.Amelia_C_Gormley

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About the Strain Universe

In the early 22nd century, the US military created Project Juggernaut. It was meant to solve a hopeless tactical imbalance in overseas wars by providing the US military with supersoldiers while crippling enemy resistance.

Instead, it introduced a deadly pandemic that all but obliterated humanity.

The remaining Juggernaut troops work tirelessly to find and protect the surviving uninfected population—even though they themselves are exiled and despised by those they help. But their efforts are hampered by the vestiges of a dysfunctional government, old prejudices that refuse to die, and those few who would do anything—and sacrifice anyone—to become superhuman too.

Strain and Juggernaut can be read independently, in any order. Bane is best enjoyed after reading both Strain and Juggernaut.

For those who wish to read in publication order, that is: Strain, Juggernaut, Bane.

 

See more here.Strain_500x750Juggernaut_600x900Bane_500x750Strain_Series200x300

A Little Bit of Coffee and Kink with Building Bonds (Kiss of Leather 1) by Morticia Knight

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Building Bonds (Kiss of Leather 1) by Morticia Knight
Release Date: August 26, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

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Sales Links: Pride Publishing | AmazonAmazon UK | Amazon CA | iTunes | Kobo | Google Books

 

Blurb

Kyle’s a natural sub who builds dungeon furniture, yet has no interest in BDSM. It takes a hunky Dom to show him just what he’s been missing.

After Kyle’s partner of five years leaves him for another man on the night of their housewarming party, the shy early thirties carpenter needs to do a serious reassessment of his life in addition to raising some serious cash. With no one else to help him pay the lease on his Los Angeles condo, he worries how he’ll survive. His best friend sets up a meeting with one of the Doms and partners at Kiss of Leather, a gay BDSM Club being built as a premiere destination for those who want the best of the best.

Master Gavin not only wants the best – he demands it. When he meets Kyle, he assumes that part of the builder’s reticence to share anything personal with him must be due to his experiences with an abusive former Master. Not one to back down from a challenge, Gavin determines to break through the walls surrounding the beautiful man he can’t get out of his mind. He’s certain that once he convinces Kyle to sign an initial contract, Kyle might be the first sub to open up his heart.

Misunderstandings and accusations almost destroy everything between them before it has a chance to begin. However, the true obstacle becomes not only whether Kyle will embrace BDSM as a lifestyle, but whether he can handle a fulltime D/s relationship with a big bad scary Dom who’s as sexy as hell.

Pages or Words: 173 pages

Categories: BDSM, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

“I don’t have to be naked, right? You’re sure I won’t have to be naked?” Kyle sucked in a gulp of air. “Of course, if everyone else is and I’m not…Oh God, they’ll all be staring at me. Maybe I should be naked.”
Gavin stepped from the shower and the sight of his stunning frame with his semi-erect cock swaying, rivulets of water trailing down his beautiful skin over his rock hard abs – it made him want to…
“Kyle. Did you hear what I said?”
“Huh?”
Gavin chuckled then advanced on him. He grabbed Kyle by his nape then pulled him in for a deep kiss. He broke their connection, except he kept his hand circled around Kyle’s neck, holding him there, safe.
“No one expects you to be naked, least of all me. You have a wonderful body that I hope you’ll someday allow others to see, but tonight isn’t about pushing your boundaries.”
“Are you kidding me? They’re not being pushed, they’re being trampled.”
“Kyle. Now would be a good time to remember that you need to address me properly at all times.”
“Oh. Sorry. Are you kidding me, Master?”
Gavin narrowed his eyes at him. “We’ll revisit the tone of your voice later. I don’t want to be late.”
Kyle’s eyes widened. He was such a mass of jangled nerves about going to the dungeon owned and run by Gavin’s friend, he hadn’t noticed how his words might’ve come across.
“I am sorry. I’m just a little freaked out, that’s all.”
Gavin placed another light kiss on his lips. “All right. I’ll let it go this time. I’ll also acknowledge that I might be on the verge of trampling your boundaries. But I think you can handle it and I believe you’ll do very, very well. Focus on your desire to make me proud and let everything else fall away.” Gavin stroked Kyle’s cheek with the back of his hand. “Your safewords always apply, no matter where we are, boy.”
Kyle took in another deep breath. “Okay. Thank you. That helped. I just don’t want to, I mean, of course I want to make you proud, but won’t people be expecting you to have someone more, uh, not only experienced, but either super pretty and twinky or hot and-“
“Stop it. Don’t say another word or there will be a punishment and it’ll involve the cock cage with the penis plug I showed you.”
Oh shit.
“Please. Not that.”
“Then remember how stunning I think you are and how angry it makes me that you would denigrate my beautiful boy.” Gavin pulled him close, nuzzling him behind his ear, placing soft kisses on his skin. “I want only you.”

About the Author

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormorticiaknight?fref=nf
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorticiaKnight

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Tour Dates & Stops: August 11 – 17, 2015
11-Aug Decadent Delights, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, LeAnn’s Book Reviews
12-Aug BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, My Fiction Nook, Divine Magazine
13-Aug Amanda C. Stone, Jessie G. Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Mikky’s World of Books, Charley Descoteaux
14-Aug Molly Lolly, Velvet Panic, Parker Williams, TTC Books and More, Love Bytes
17-Aug Prism Book Alliance, Happily Ever Chapter, Rainbow Gold Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark, Wake Up Your Wild Side, The Jena Wade

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Giveaway

 

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A signed paperback of Building Bonds, flogger keychain and a $25 Amazon gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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