A Paul B Review: Yummy Indulgences (Men of Charlestown #2) by Andi Anderson

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Rating:  4 out 5 stars

Yummy Indulgences coverWhen Allen (AJ) Gardner is talked into sampling cakes for his parent’s anniversary party, little did he know that he would fall for the sweet owner of the bakery.

Allen Gardner has just finished his shift at the meat rendering plant where is the supervisor.  When his sister is unable to keep her appointment at the local bakery. He is to meet Shiloh, the owner of Yummy Indulgences.  After initially mistaking the owner’s sister for Shiloh, Allen is surprised that not only is Shiloh a man but one of the prettiest men he has ever seen.

Shiloh Ballard is the owner and baker at Yummy Indulgences.  Always nervous around good-looking apparently straight men, he starts to fidget around Allen.   After Allen has sampled the variety of cakes that Shiloh has prepared, Shiloh takes a chance and asks Allen if he could cook him dinner one night.  Allen readily accepts.

The date goes well and things begin to get more serious.  The one thing that puts a damper on things is the fact that Allen is not fully out of the closet at work.  Shiloh says that as long as Allen is honest with him, things will work out, as they should be.

As the relationship progresses, Allen begins to seriously consider his options as to his employment and whether or not he can stay in the homophobic work place.  Will he take advantage of an opportunity that suddenly arises that might solve his problem?

This is a reissue of the first book in Andi Anderson’s Men of Charlestown series.  When I first read this book, I feel in love with the sweet, shy Shiloh.  I loved the way that his relationship with Allen seems to bring Shiloh out of his shell somewhat.  And while Allen does not suffer from outright workplace harassment, the author displays the overly heterosexual attitudes that would make a closeted gay man uncomfortable.   This is a good start to her series.  I am glad to see this in publication again.

The cover art by Latrisha Waters depicts our two men kissing in what appears to be a kitchen setting.  I thought this cover missed the mark a bit.  The model who is suppose to be Allen does not appear to be as well built as the author describes him.  Meanwhile, the major feature of Shiloh, his long black hair is missing as the model portraying him has short hair.  I know that covers may not be perfect representations but I would expect at least the major characteristics to be accurately reflected.

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

Book details

Ebook, 100 pages
Edition:  English
ISBN:  978-1-4874-0386-7
Published:  July 2015 by Extasy Books
Series:  Men of Charlestown

  • Yummy Indulgences (Men of Charlestown #1)
  • His Christmas Wish (Men of Charlestown #2)
  • Daniel’s Dream (Men of Charlestown #3)
  • Angel’s Redemption (Men of Charlestown #4)

A Stella Review: Bitter Taffy (Candy Man, #2) by Amy Lane

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Rating 4 stars out of 5

Bitter Taffy coverRico Gonzalves-Macias didn’t expect to fall in love during his internship in New York—and he didn’t expect the boss’s son to out them both and get him fired either. When he returns to Sacramento stunned and heartbroken, he finds his cousin, Adam, and Adam’s boyfriend, Finn, haven’t just been house-sitting—they’ve made his once sterile apartment into a home.

When Adam gets him a job interview with the adorable, magnetic, practically perfect Derek Huston, Rico feels especially out of his depth. Derek makes it no secret that he wants Rico, but Rico is just starting to figure out that he’s a beginner at the really important stuff and doesn’t want to jump into anything with both feet.

Derek is a both-feet kind of guy. But he’s also made mistakes of his own and doesn’t want to pressure Rico into anything. Together they work to find a compromise between instant attraction and long-lasting love, and while they’re working, Rico gets a primer in why family isn’t always a bad idea. He needs to believe Derek can be his family before Derek’s formidable patience runs out—because even a practically perfect boyfriend is capable of being hurt.

Bitter Taffy is the second book in the Candy Man series by Amy Lane. I loved the first one and this was no exception. Amy Lane has a way with words that are unmistakable. Even if I’m her huge fan I haven’t read some of her more famous series, cause she scares me with the emotional things she can write. So I picked Candy Man because the cover suggested some fun and sweetness and I wasn’t wrong. Bitter Taffy was a great reconfirmation. You know how I always say I’m a sucker for sweet stories? Well since this series in some parts is set around a candy shop with a strange owner, it was really for me.

You know you can’t go wrong with any af Miss Lane books but what I loved in this one was specifically the relationship between the MCs. It could have been the usual insta love/lust story, but nope. It was slow (the right slow, not the boring one) and perfect and real and daily like our relationships. The chemistry was still there, but it was right and patient. Something like only Amy Lane can create.

What I appreciated moreover was the huge part that Adam and Finn have in this story too. Since I fell in love with their story, I was so happy to meet then again. They both grew up a lot in the little time left them, especially Finn, who will be my fave characters in this series regardless you will be come later.

I liked the sense of family between Adam and Rico, supporting no matter they both come from a unbelievable homophobic family. And the little redemption at the end was deserved, finally!

Talking about the ending I can’t wait for the next one to come out (hoping really soon) and to live with Ezra another fluffy and cute book.

I want to highly recommended Bitter Taffy and the whole Candy Man series. Really well done!

Cover art by Paul Richmond. Of course it’s Paul’s. You can see him in every little detail. I so love all the colors he used in this cover and the one of Candy Man too. Perfect!!

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

Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages, also in paperback
Published July 29th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634762885
Edition Language English

Candy Man series
Candy Man #1
Bitter Taffy #2

 

A Jeri Review: Thrown a Curve (The Rainbow League #2) by Kate McMurray

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Thrown A Curve coverMason made headlines when, after his professional baseball career was sidelined by an injury, he very publicly came out of the closet. Now he’s scratching the baseball itch playing in the Rainbow League while making his way through New York’s population of beefcakes, even though they all come up short. Plus, he’s still thinking about last summer’s encounter with hot, effeminate, pierced and tattooed Patrick—pretty much the opposite of the sort of man he has long pictured himself with.

Patrick hasn’t been able to forget Mason either, and now that baseball season is back upon them, he’s determined to have him again. Mason is unlike any man Patrick has ever been with before, and not just because he’s an ex-Yankee. All Patrick has to do is convince a reluctant Mason that their one night wasn’t just a crazy fluke and that they could be great together…if only Mason could get past his old hang-ups and his intolerant family.

I think this is my favorite of the three books in the series so far. Mostly because the trope was different.

Mason is an ex-Yankee who plays for the league after a career ending injury a few years ago. After the hero worship ended, he was just another one of the guys. And a plus to being retired is that he was able to come out of the closet.

Patrick is a “twink” who plays for another team, but hooked up with Mason at the end of the season. With the new season starting, he is hoping to meet up with him again.

Now, when I say it was different- it was, in that you see people struggle to come out of the closet. Or struggle to admit to family that they are gay. For Mason, it was to admit that his type of man is Patrick. The small, not really athletic, twink, who is gay and let’s everyone know it.

Patrick is out, loud and proud. He has a serious thing for Mason. But he will not be hidden. He has to convince Mason that it is ok to be with men like him. Mason is nervous though, he feels the only reason his mother and brother barely accept his homosexuality is because he isn’t one of “those” gays.

This book was very sweet and definitely a bit hot. There was another surprise in store for me, which I will let you read about. Just remember, don’t stereotype by looks.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson. I loved getting a look at Mason’s face on the cover of the book, which continues the urban feel with a very similar cover.

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

Book Details:

book, 210 pages
Published June 19th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ISBN139781632169709
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Rainbow League #2

Books in the Series:

Love Takes Flight with Ada Maria Soto’s Bowerbirds (Nested Hearts #2) (excerpt and giveaway)

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BowerbirdsFS

Bowerbirds (Nested Hearts #2)  by Ada Maria Soto
Release Date: Target date is August 26 2015

STRW In The Spotlight HeaderGoodreads Link – add it to your shelf here
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

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Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook | Dreamspinner Press Paperback

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Two very different men have a chance at happiness, but only if they can let go of their painful pasts and allow love to take precedence.

After spending his teens and twenties raising his son, James Maron is now dating Gabriel Juarez, the wealthy and sophisticated CFO of the TechPrim technology empire. But after a life of proudly holding his head above the poverty line with the ethos of work, priorities, responsibility, and thrift, he is not looking for a Sugar Daddy, he does not need to be rescued, and Gabe’s wealth is as terrifying as feeling love for the first time.

Gabe has never been good at balancing his high pressure job with his relationships. Money usually clears most of the bumps, and when a boyfriend walks away, Gabe figures it’s for a good reason. But James isn’t like other boyfriends. He doesn’t want Gabe’s money for one, and if Gabe wants to keep his relationship together he will have to finally face the ghosts of his own past and reconsider his priorities.

Pages or Words: 60,790 words

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

FOR THE millionth time, a load of baseball gear left by the apartment door nearly sent James tumbling. It was one of the very few things he would not miss when Dylan left for college. He checked his watch and saw it was pushing five in the afternoon. He could technically still make it to the laundromat and get a couple of loads through, but the place filled up quick after five and it became difficult to get the good machines. Ada Maria Soto

Dylan came out of his room, his hair sticking up at odd angles from his postpractice shower. “Hey, Dad. I was starting to worry. How did the concert go last night?”

As a last-second surprise, Gabe had gotten them tickets to the California Honeydrops at the Fillmore. After a couple glasses of wine, Gabe had even talked him into dancing. “It was good. Stop leaving your gear by the door.”

“Good?” Dylan tried for a scolding look, but there was too much humor in his eyes. “No, just good does not end with you coming home… um… twenty-one hours later than expected.”

Dylan had been nagging him about getting a social life and a boyfriend for years, but James hadn’t realized he would become so nosy about it once it happened.

You’d think he was the parent here. “The concert ran a bit late, and we got a room in the city.” Then they decided not to leave that room until a few hours after the normal checkout time, followed by a late lunch.

“Which hotel?”

“Does it matter?” James asked as he picked up Dylan’s baseball gear.

“It might.”

“The Saint Francis,” James muttered, deciding to risk a Monday wash.

“Again? Well, here’s to scoring a sugar daddy.”

“What?” James froze for a second as he tucked a baseball bat under his arm.

Dylan headed for the kitchen and rummaged around the fridge. “I mean, a guy with a steady job is a good thing these days, but one who can score you concert tickets and hotel suites on a whim is a pretty sweet deal.” He pulled an apple from the veggie bin.

“He’s not—”

James felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He juggled around the gear until he could pull it out and saw he had missed a call ten minutes earlier.

“He’s not what?

“Hi. It’s me. Stuck in traffic. Seriously, traffic on a Sunday. I think the Niners are playing or something. Don’t worry, I’m on the hands-free setup. Just wanted to say I had a really nice time this weekend. The concert was a lot of fun. The other activities were fun too. Don’t know how busy I’m going to be this week, but I’d love to be able to come up there for lunch or dinner. Catch a movie or something. Oh, Tamyra left me nine messages, the last one informing me that I’m getting ‘Genie in a Bottle’ for my new ringtone. I’m hoping I can pass it off as a postmodern ironic statement or something. Oh look. Traffic is moving. Well, I’ll talk to you later. Drive carefully. Bye.” Bowerbirds

James kept the phone to his ear even after the message ended. Dylan stared at him, one eyebrow raised. He had a funny feeling Dylan practiced that look in the mirror. James hung up the phone. “You know what? My love life is none of your business.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

ADA MARIA SOTO is a born and raised Californian Mexican-American currently living as an expat in the South Pacific with her toddler and partner.
She has studied and worked in theater, film, and television with all the usual crummy side jobs of a struggling artist. She has dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia but refuses to let that slow down her writing.
She is a sports fan dedicated to the Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks, Auckland Blues, USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, New Zealand Black Caps, and the Chennai Super Kings.
She loves to hear from her fans, or really anyone who has read her work.

Where to find the author:

Website: https://adamariasoto.com
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AdaSoto
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdaMariaSoto
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdaMariaSotoAuthor

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

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Tour Dates & Stops:
26-Aug Prism Book Alliance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

2-Sep Happily Ever Chapter, Divine Magazine, Jessie G. Books

9-Sep Multitasking Mommas, Bike Book Reviews

16-Sep Love Bytes, Molly Lolly

23-Sep Bayou Book Junkie, Mikky’s World of Books, Inked Rainbow Reads

30-Oct MM Good Book Reviews, Foxylutely Book Reviews

7-Oct Carly’s Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog

14-Oct My Fiction Nook, Reviews by Jessewave

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It Gets Hot, Sexy and a Bit Scary with Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s Fret (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway_

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Sandrine Gasq-Dion Talks M/M Romance, Inspiration and Fret!

A lot of people ask me the same question all the time, why male romance? This whole journey began in 2010 while I was watching a soap opera. The gay couple on the show was written so beautifully, I fell in love with them immediately. I began writing fan fiction once the show was cancelled and posted a chapter a day. For two years I wrote stories on the fan site until one day, an avid reader told me I should publish a book. I wrote A Marked Man a few months later and then three more books after that. I sent A Marked Man to a few publishing houses and one of them was very interested. After checking out their offer, I was pointed towards Kindle Direct Publishing and decided to go that route.

I haven’t looked back.

I’ve written thirty-three books and I have no plans to stop. I have a few more books in the Assassin/Shifters and about 7 more in the Olympians. I also have two more books in The Men of Manhattan Series plus the five in Rock Series. I am panning one more book in the Angel series to follow up with Second Time Around and Gabriel’s Fall.

The Idea of FRET came when another author wanted to do an anthology about Rockers/ Actors. Well, my mind jumped all over that and FRET was born. Writing FRET was so much fun as I was hanging out with a band in Flagstaff and got to hear all about their touring life. I am still taking drum lessons and will begin guitar lessons again soon. I now live in the town I’m writing about and love it!

Stay tuned for much, much more!!

AboutTheBookFret_Sandrine_FSTitle: Fret

Author: Sandrine Gasq- Dion

Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis

Length: 48,000 words

Release Date: September 01, 2015

Blurb: Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.

Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.

Enter Axel Blaze. Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.

Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot.

Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out.

Or do they?

Excerpt

Thumping music was shaking the walls of the Dome as I headed for my designated spot. I guess I’m meeting Paul, the band’s manager.

I took mental notes as I passed through the crowd of screaming, jumping people. The band was rocking it out and I sought out Gareth Wolf. There were two guitarists, but I found him right away. Black hair touched his shoulders and his lean body moved with his guitar.

He was in his element.

The song was wrapping up and the floor was shaking from the bass drum. The floor-to-ceiling speakers pumped out the last notes of the song. The crowd immediately went wild as Ransom Fox leaned over the stage.

“Let’s hear it for the best lead guitarist on the planet!” he shouted.

Gareth shook his hair back and bowed with one hand out. Again, the crowd screamed, shouted and whistled. Ransom went on to give some love to the other members of the group.

I rolled my eyes and pushed my way through the crowd toward the side of the stage. A large man eyed me and then nodded as I walked by. Again, I could have been wearing a ‘Hello, I’m God’ tag and security wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. As it was, my tag faced backwards; he couldn’t even see my name or credentials.

Security for the Skull Blaster band was sorely lacking.

I sat through another hour of bone-jarring hardcore metal before the band finally left the stage. I scanned the area for their manager, but no luck.

I walked right behind the curtain and fell into step with the band members as they trudged toward their dressing rooms. They didn’t even notice me — and I’m really hard to miss.

They stepped into the dressing room; I followed and slammed the door shut behind me. Ransom turned and his eyes widened.

“Who the fuck are you?!”

“Nice of you to finally notice me,” I pointed out.

“Paul!” Ransom thundered. He immediately moved in front of Gareth, shielding him.

“Oh for fucks sake.” I arched a brow.

The door behind me opened and a startled man looked me over from head to toe. He flipped my name badge over and sighed audibly, clearly relieved.

“It’s cool, Ransom. This is the guy I was telling you about.”

“You could have mentioned he was a semi-truck.” Ransom’s eyes narrowed.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you,” Paul apologized to me. “I ran into some media and couldn’t get away.”

“Not that this isn’t fun — because, oh so much fun — but I’m here to do a job. So I need to speak to whoever is in charge of ‘security.’ Now.” I leaned very slightly — but effectively — in to Paul’s face.

“Why?”

I turned to see Gareth peeking out from behind his brother’s broad shoulders. His eyes were a shade of green I’d never seen before, and with his pale complexion and dark hair? The guy was a looker and then some.

“Because band security royally sucks. I walked right on back here with them and not one person noticed or stopped me. That is not acceptable.”

“Who are you?” Gareth gaped.

I pinned him with a hard look. “I’m your bodyguard.”

Ransom chuckled.

“What the actual fuck?” Gareth stepped in front of his brother. “Is this a joke?”

“Nope.” Ransom shook his head.

“Jinx, Harley, Rebel. Give us a few, eh?” Paul opened the door and tilted his head toward the hallway.

“Sure thing, boss.” Rebel tipped his hat and winked at me.

I leaned against the wall as the members walked out. I overheard one of them, not sure which, talking to another.

“Did you see the size of that guy?”

“How could you miss him?” another one answered.

Paul shut the door and turned to Gareth with an apologetic smile.

“I knew what you’d say if we told you beforehand,” he admitted.

“Oh, did you now? You had to get me Conan the Destroyer? Jesus Christ!”

“Gareth,” Ransom warned.

“What? This is stupid! I don’t need a human shield!”

“You’re going to play nice and allow this man to watch your back, Gareth!” Ransom shouted. “You’re getting threats since you came out! I insist you be kept safe!”

“Gareth, why don’t you go clean up? Then you and Mr. Blaze can get acquainted.”

“Seriously? Blaze?” Gareth snorted.

I narrowed my eyes at the kid. Well, to me he was a kid, after everything I’d seen in my life. Gareth was almost twenty-three and I was pushing thirty. We locked eyes for a few seconds before he turned away.

AboutTheAuthor

AuthorPicBest-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by “Old School” French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn’t until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She’s been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She’s traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.

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