A MelanieM Review: Buttermilk Ranch (The Hard Riders #1) by Patricia Logan

Standard

Rating:   2.5 stars  out of 5

Buttermilk RanchWendell 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.

I love my gay cowboys and a gay cowboy turned chef?  Well, that had all the makings of a book to rope in my heart! See? Got cute, combined cooking and rodeo analogies…oh never mind.  Enough of the diversionary tactics.  From that gorgeous cover which is finely detailed right down to the wooden spoon in the back pocket to the blurb, I was gleefully anticipating a new story to trumpet.  I really need to stop getting ahead of myself.

The author’s narrative starts derailing from the beginning.  Patricia Logan has her characters use what I like to call “countryspeak”, call it an author’s country answer to Spanglish.  Its not really true to any regional location you can pin down, or to specific sayings or colloquialisms, its just that the author throws in a “ya” or “heya” here and there enough for their people to sound like the way the author thinks someone from that  part of the country sounds like.  Compounding the issues is the problem of continuity.  The “ya” is then quickly followed by a “you” or “your” not “ya’ll” or what have you.  Sometimes “countryspeak” rules, other times its completely forgotten, a disruption in character foundation and all around displacement the story’s setting that is echoed in other segments that work against the story as well.

The most basic of these elements is characterization.  Patricia Logan’s Wendell Blackowl has a very detailed background, from his family history, life on his parents ranch to his long time with the rodeo, all closeted and with good reasons set down for that status.  From the prologue on, Logan present’s Dell as a well defined man.  I liked his Buttermilk Ranch/Restaurant, even thought Logan made the argument for Dell’s vegetarianism logical and appealing.  However, none of that lasts very long.  With the entrance of Pace, comes instant love (yet no charisma) and Blackowl’s characterization is forgotten as a new one is created along with the needs of the storyline.  Dell is a virgin.  Dell and Pace and going to go slow.  And no they don’t.  Dell loves and respects his mother.  Then comes out to her at…no, its just too sad.  Would you really take the chance of doing that to your beloved mother just before she gives an important speech at a Pride event?  It makes no sense the way that it was written.  Or given the way the relationship dynamics were laid out in the story.

Yes, there are some nice moments. Also some weird ones with a bdsm club.  Perhaps, there is another series this book is temporarily connecting with, I’m just not sure because its not adequately explained. Maybe they will arrive in later books.  Either way, the country-speak, the characterizations and continuity…all big Cs that went wrong in this story had already brought the rating down past the 3 stars.

For some of you,  the sweet love story that exists, buried underneath the structural defects I see, will be enough for you to enjoy because its a quick story.  For you, have fun reading.  For all the others, there are other cowboys in love for you to discover, whose dialog and colloquialisms will drop you into their romance and location as though you are part of their lives and  scenery.  I wouldn’t settle for less than that.

Cover art by AJ Corza.  This is one of my favorite covers.  With the long hair in a braid that shouts Dell to the chef’s spoon in the back pocket.  Its marvelous right down to the colors.

Sales Links:   Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 189 pages
Published August 29th 2015 by Westburg Publishing
ASINB012J29SQI
edition language English

A Mika Review: All Man by Jay Northcote

Standard

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars   ★★★★

“You’re the sleek little sports car to my Land Rover.”

All Man coverFrom the moment Gareth walks through the door of the salon to fit some new sinks, Jules can’t take his eyes off him. Jules has always been attracted to men who are his polar opposite, so burly Gareth is Jules’s fantasy man.

At the weekend, Jules gets into a tough situation with another bloke in a gay club and Gareth comes to his aid. Gareth rejects Jules’s subsequent advances but leaves him with the hope that his attraction isn’t completely one-sided. Fantasy could become reality.

With Gareth’s work at the salon nearly done, he’ll soon disappear from Jules’s life for good. Time is running out. Jules needs to prove to Gareth that he’s tougher than he looks and that his feelings run deeper than gratitude.

I did not want it to end. Why??? Because it was really good. Jay Northcote knows how to write her guys. I love the contrast between the men that she puts together. I don’t like reading about the same type of men being attractive to each other. I like versatility in my guys. Plus I love a guy wearing make-up and loving themselves while wearing it. I’m so happy that Jules got his story. He was definitely a stand out character from [book:Top Me Maybe?|25548075]. He is this charismatic, flirty, guy who has a crush on the bear-like Gareth. That’s swoon like right there.

Up until this book we’ve only seen confident Jules, s0 just seeing him nervous and vulnerable about Garreth was really sweet. Gareth was a great guy, and I liked how he used his voice to state that anyone can go through something traumatic and look different. I think Jay Northcote did a good job with the assault scenes. She wrote it from a character who if we seen on the street most people wouldn’t think that they would be a victim. I really liked them together. It was some steamy and sweet scenes. I didn’t want it to end. I really like the author’s British writing voice.

Cover Art by Jay Northcote, spot on presentation of Jules. I really like seeing him on the cover with all his beauty.

Sales Links:   Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 8th 2015 by Jaybird Press (first published August 6th 2015)
original title All Man

 

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review :Three’s Company by N.R. Walker

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This is the kind of story where the characters burrow into your heart and stay long after you finish the last page.

Three's Company coverWilson Curtis arrives at the small hotel in Key West to begin his long-awaited two-week vacation for two—but without Mr. Two. His boyfriend Rod has joined with others in his Alabama hometown to ostracize him when it’s learned that he’s gay. Rod is a police officer who saw Wilson covertly for nearly two years but left him without a second thought the minute Wilson was outed while having drinks with Rod and a few other friends one night. And just like that, his life was turned upside down, because not only did he lose Rod, the townsfolk boycotted his restaurant business, and though his friend Callie is keeping it open for now, business is declining as the rumors of his homosexuality spread.

When he arrives at the beachfront hotel, he’s greeted by the handsome, dark-haired, blue-eyed manager, Simon Stanford. Simon excitedly tells his live-in lover—carefree, blond, gorgeous Adam—about the new guy who’s arrived, and together they make plans to seduce him into their bed for a night of ménage fun.

The couple is surprised, however, to discover that one night is just not enough, and they find themselves extending the invitation for the length of his stay. Suddenly, their feelings are involved, and when that happens, more than the positive feelings emerge—there’s a miscommunication, and Simon storms off and won’t speak to the others; outsiders are trying to buy the hotel; and life as they knew it goes rapidly downhill.

This was the best M/M/M romance I’ve read to date. These guys had diverse and interesting personalities as well as careers that jelled, life circumstances that fit together like puzzle pieces, and hot, steamy sex in places and positions that stoked the imagination. And they kissed—in two’s and three’s—sweetly, and oh, so sinfully, not-so-sweetly. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve read a ménage that I can actually picture working—from the sex to the personalities and vice versa. I very highly recommend this to all M/M romance lovers who want to dip a toe into the pool of ménage, and if you’re already into threesomes, why wait? Pick up your copy right now!

Cover Art by Posh Gosh features a bright and beautiful Florida sky and blue waters. Superimposed on that is a photo of three men sitting on the beach with the center man’s arms around the others. There are also other photos depicting tropical paradise themes. Very nice, attractive, colorful cover!

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon (not supported at Amazon)

Book Details:

ebook, 176 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Pride Publishing (first published 2012)
ISBN139781784307424
edition language English

Supernatural Coffee Sip and Book Break with Wolf Creek by Nikko Lee (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

wolfcreek1400

Wolf Creek by Nikko Lee
Release Date: September 9, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Prizm Books
Cover Artist: BSClay

Banner300x250

Buy the book:   Torquere Books

Blurb

Being the Silverbane pack’s omega is killing Josh. His plans to escape are foiled when he is blackmailed into finding a new alpha capable of controlling the largest pack in New England before the Amazons cull it. Josh has no clue how he is going to accomplish this task, let alone stay out of the sights of his power-hungry cousin, Bryce, who is convinced he is the pack’s next alpha.

Josh befriends Andrea, an erratic Amazon trainee, who talks to the ghost of her dead mother and has her own agenda when it comes to the wolf pack. When he is rescued by Gavin, a handsome park ranger driven to live in the furthest reaches of civilization, Josh feels a pull toward him that is more than just physical attraction. The three develop a bond that is stronger than friendship and tested at every turn.

With the help of his new family, Josh must find the strength within him to save the Silverbane pack and defeat the evil that threatens to turn them into killers. Only then can he finally be free.

Pages or Words: 87,700 words
Categories: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Excerpt

“I don’t know about this.” Josh waited with Andrea outside the ranger station.
Gavin would be off duty in a few minutes. Andrea’s harebrained scheme was the only plan they had time for. Instead of slowly baiting Gavin into revealing his true nature, they were going to have to shock him into it, but Josh was starting to have doubts.
“What if he isn’t a werewolf?”
Andrea frowned.
“Okay, what if he is and he tries to kill me?”
“I’ll protect you,” Andrea said, but it didn’t give Josh much assurance.
“Have you ever won a fight against a werewolf?”
Andrea tore her shirt at the collar, then unbuttoned her jeans.
“Almost,” she said with a smile.
Josh didn’t have another second to protest. Andrea pulled him against her so suddenly that their lips collided and her teeth cut into his lips. Just as suddenly, she was pushing him away and screaming.
“No!” Andrea fought to get away from him without really letting go of him. She shook him back and forth. “You’re hurting me!”
Then, Josh was being hurled backwards.
“What the fuck is going on?” Gavin shouted.
Josh scrambled to his feet.
“I don’t know,” Andrea said through sobs. Blood smeared her lips and tears drenched her cheeks. “He said he wouldn’t share me, that I was his.”
As ridiculous as it sounded, Gavin looked utterly convinced that Josh had attacked Andrea. Gavin’s chest expanded from more than just heavy breathing. The fabric of his uniform strained against flexing muscles, but it was the wild look in his eyes that worried Josh. Gavin was on the verge of losing control. He actually looked like he could transform.
“Go inside,” Gavin said to Andrea, without taking his eyes off Josh. “I’ll deal with this bastard.”
Josh scrambled backwards as Gavin stalked toward him. The normally good-natured ranger was seething with rage. His soft brown eyes were hard and flinty.
“I told you to stay away from her.” He hauled Josh up by his collar and threw him against a tree.
Josh cowered against the tree trunk and waited for the inevitable beating. Gavin loomed over him, his breathing ragged, but no blows came. He seemed to be struggling within himself, his hands clawing at the tree bark and his eyes shut. Josh could see him regaining control over his anger. If he didn’t act soon, Gavin would calm himself enough that Josh would never know if he could save the pack.
“She’s mine,” Josh said. It was a timid challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. “I saw her first. I’m not going to give her up without a fight.”
He stripped off his shirt and tried to remember how Silverbane looked just before he transformed. At a foot shorter and fifty pounds lighter, Josh wouldn’t have been surprised if Gavin laughed at him. But Gavin was lost to his anger, taking off his shirt and backing away, ready to fight.
“Come on,” he said, and motioned for Josh to attack him. “Let’s settle this.”
The air was electric on Josh’s skin. He could feel the gravel shift under his feet. He smelled the forest behind him and the testosterone of the menacing male in front of him. For the first time in his life, he was going to have to fight to save those he cared about. Even if it meant getting hurt or dying, Josh had to bring out Gavin’s beast and test him as Elaine would.
He took a swing at Gavin, but Gavin had already moved to the side. A crushing pain in Josh’s ribs was followed by a blow that knocked him from his feet, and he scrambled to put space between them. There was no doubt that Gavin could best him in a fist fight. The only other person Josh had ever taken a swing at was Andrea, and she had dealt with him like he was no more than a child throwing a temper tantrum.
If he was going to challenge Gavin, Josh had to transform. He felt close to it. His muscles ached to expand. Inside his body, he felt the howl of the beast that cried to be set free but refused to break the invisible pack bond that held it in check. The full moon was so close. Even Elaine and Bryce looked ready to heed its call earlier. Why couldn’t Josh?
Gavin attacked, but it was Josh’s turn to evade. He might not be a fighter, but he was an expert in avoiding getting hurt. The more he evaded Gavin, the angrier Gavin got. His body was beginning the transformation. The seams of his pants split and the leather of his boots creaked under the force of expanding feet.
“Fight me.” Gavin’s voice was little more than a barely intelligible grunt. “Fight.”
As close as he was to transforming, something was holding him back. Maybe he didn’t have control over it.
Josh had seen teenage pack members experience their first transformations without a command from Silverbane. It was a struggle that could last hours. His own first time had come at Silverbane’s command. He’d been fourteen, older than most werewolves who transformed when they reached puberty, and even after he’d taken wolf form, he had cowered until Silverbane released him.
Gavin’s swings were faster and harder, but less coordinated. It was getting harder for Josh to predict where they’d come from and how to avoid them. Josh had only transformed a handful of times under Silverbane’s command. Now that his alpha was gone, he had to find out if Gavin was his new alpha.
“You want me to fight?” Josh said stepping out of the way of a wild haymaker.
“Yes, fight me now.”
The pull from Gavin was undeniable. Josh realized then that there was nothing he could refuse Gavin; not because he was infatuated with him, but because Gavin was his alpha. Josh would do whatever it took to satisfy him. Right now that meant having the strength to give him the fight he needed.

BannerTemplate

About the Author

Meet Nikko Lee:

The author is a scientific curator who enjoys writing genre fiction from erotica to horror under the pen name Nikko Lee. Born in Canada, she moved to Maine after completing a PhD in Zoology and her post-doctoral training. She resides near Bar Harbor with her husband, daughter, two cats and malamute. The author blogs about hiking, writing and science at http://www.nikkolee.com.

Where to find Nikko Lee:
Facebook: 88nikkolee88
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @NikkoLee88
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nikko_lee88/


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Havan Fellows, Bayou Book Junkie, Decadent Delights, My Fiction Nook, MM Good Book Reviews, The Jena Wade, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, SA McAuley, Mikky’s World of Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Three Books Over The Rainbow, V’s Reads, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Redz World, Nephylim, Happily Ever Chapter, The Hat Party

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of the book.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by Pride Promotions and the author.
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

WillPride