A Paul B Review: Into the Dark Void by John Simpson and Robert Cummings

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Into the Dark Void

Corporal David Creswell develops a crush on PFC Blake Bickford the moment Blake enters the starship Excelsior. Before the men can explore their feelings, they are requested for a mission to find a missing space probe launched hundreds of years ago. Will their new relationship end before it begins?

David Creswell is a corporal in the United Space Force Marines of the planet Earth. He is ordered to meet the new batch of marines that are being rotated onto the space ship. When the seven new marines board the ship, he is immediately drawn to one of them.

Blake Bickford is newly stationed on the Excelsior. He goes to the corporal’s quarters to ask him about the social opportunities for a gay marine. He finds his commander extremely attractive and thinks he is picking up signals that the corporal would be interested in some fun along the way. When David tells Blake to strip, they proceed to enjoy the evening in the bedroom.

When a shuttlecraft docks with the Excelsior, an Admiral from the Space Marines has a secretive important mission concerning New Horizon, a deep space probe that has been malfunctioning. The probe did not self-destruct when it was suppose to and has been sending gibberish. They need to travel across the galaxy to retrieve data from the probe and then destroy it. The scientists that are going on the mission insist that Creswell and Bickford be assigned to the new starship that will be going across the galaxy.

Naturally the mission does not go as planned, for when do they ever do in these kinds of books or movies. It all starts when the command of the new ship finds out that our two heroes are in a relationship in a most public way, unbeknownst to them. The forced separation takes a toll on both of them. But the two guys manage to get themselves and the crew in and out of trouble before they make a return trip to earth.

This is a decent space cowboy romance novel. I enjoyed the nod to John Simpson’s recently ended series Condor One. The romance between the two characters was a bit rushed, almost like a paranormal mating, but enjoyable nonetheless. I like the fact that while David tends to be dominant in the bedroom, he is not using his superior rank to demand Blake’s submission. I felt the devotion of the two men when Blake must make a decision in the dark void whether to follow orders or save his lover, consequences be damned. If you are looking for sex and adventure, I recommend picking up this book. Here is hoping for either a sequel or further adventures in this story as the authors have definitely left open that possibility.

The cover art by Catt Ford shows two men dressed only in bikini underwear.  The men could very well be the two heroes.  It is a nicely done cover.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published August 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634763103
edition language English

A MelanieM Review: Sinner’s Gin (Sinners #1) by Rhys Ford

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Sinner's Gin coverThere’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.

After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.

Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.

I  arrived late at the Rhys Ford doorstep and am now reaping the benefits of being able to binge read through Ford’s amazing series starting with Sinners. What a rich tapestry Rhys Ford weaves with this first tale in the series, Sinner’s Gin.  A  musician, wounded in body and soul, a modern Gaelic warrior, read that police officer, who sees the treasure buried beneath the scabs and scars and a murderer bringing the past back with him makes this a story I couldn’t put down from the moment I started it. And did I mention a dog so entreatingly, believably scruffy and well, terrier true that he stole my heart as well?  I wolfed down Sinner’s Gin the way Dude would a fine piece of steak, ok, any piece of steak.  With groans of appreciation and a longing for more.

Sinner’s Gin, a band destroyed by a drunken driver which left one member alive to mourn the loss of not just the band but its members he called family, and the man Damien that Miki thought of as his brother.  After a tramatic prologue, Ford drops us into what’s left of Miki St. John’s life and its depressed and ugly.  Subsisting on booze and junk food, the only thing keeping Miki from death is the thought that Damie’s hateful parents would inherent  his music rights (and other things) and use them in ways Damien opposed.  That fight keeps him alive, just barely.  Ford brings this despondent man alive, from his caustic thoughts to his life at the stripped down warehouse which we see through his eyes.    It will take several grisly events and a scruffy terrier to get Miki moving again, the foremost is a eviscerated body dumped on the GTO Damien bought him.  That brings his past back and Kane Morgan into his life.

Kane Morgan is not a solitary creation.  And how I thank Rhys Ford for this.  Kane Morgan stomps into the story and our hearts carrying with him the Clan Morgan from mother Brigid who could teach the warrior queen Boadicea a thing or two to Donal, the “da”, a father so huge and elemental that he is frequently described as Ent like (a description I not only loved but could see).  It doesn’t stop there.  Conner, the oldest brother, the twins Kiki and Ryan, Braden, Riley, Ian and Quinn.  And yes I know I got the order wrong. Six boys and two girls.  A cousin, Sionn on the Finnegan side.  You take all that Irish, all that Gaelic love, heart, and  fire and when added together it become narrative magic.  One that carries over from book to book.  Oh, and except for Quinn, who in another book or alternate universe would have turned out to be a mage, they are all law enforcement officers or firefighters or something just fierce.  They are that known entity….an Irish dynasty found in police and firefighter families everywhere.

Not one of which is slighted in the character department.  Each person is rooted deeply not only in the family and story but in the authenticity of their characters.  In their very believability they carry weight within them, a depth of feeling and soul.  But each is so different from the other, even if only slightly.  And its that slight difference that makes them feel so much like family, along with a dialog and family dynamics that anyone with siblings will  recognize.

Yes, I have to mention Dude.  I have terriers.  Dude is a terrier and continuing character.  Yes, you should never give them broccoli.  The farts are catastrophic and profound.  It speaks of research or at least close proximity with terriers who are fond of greens.

The plot and killer will make you heartsick at times and adds in an element that continues through all the stories. That of musicians with wounded, abused backgrounds that will find their way into a new band with Mike St. John and into the Morgan family Clan. Music runs through this story and series, music is in lyrics at the beginning of the chapters or in mentions of favorite bands beings ticked off by Morgan sons.  It flows everywhere.

By the end of this amazing story I was  reaching for Whiskey and Wry (Sinner’s #2), hearing the beat of the Bodhrán pounding in my ears, growing louder as well as my anticipation for what I knew was coming next.  The startling ending of Sinner’s Gin had me on edge and now I’m more than ready for my journey to continue with the Clan Morgan and the musicians they love.

I highly recommend this story and the next, and well, the entire series.  Rhys Ford has quickly become a “go to” author for me  I love it when that happens.  Need a new author to love?  A new series to read?  Grab up Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford and get started.  Amazing people and things await you!

Cover art by Reece Notley.  I really like the covers for this book and the series, all done by the same artist.  Great job.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages
Published December 24th 2012 by Dreamspinner press
original title Sinner’s Gin
ISBN 1623802490 (ISBN13: 9781623802493)
edition language English
series Sinners #1:

 

 

 

A Stella Review: White Lies by Jack Byrne

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

White Lies coverBrent Winton is doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Since the death of their parents years ago, Brent is helping his younger brother Zach through law school in sunny Queensland, Australia. The boys share a cheap flat, and Brent works two jobs to support them, but Zach thinks the second job is merely bar tending. In reality Brent has turned to gay prostitution to ensure that Zach has all the best textbooks and the up-to-date laptop he needs so he can focus on his studies. When hot Russian refugee Dimitri moves in next door, Brent finds him mesmerizing, but fears that if he gets involved, Dimitri will expose Brent’s white lies. But Dimitri has a dark secret of his own, and the question becomes how either of them can learn to trust the other without blowing their cover.

 

White Lies by Jack Byrne is a simple story, there is nothing twisted in the plot, just a common guy, Brent, who chose to be a rent boy to support his brother Zach in his dream to become a lawyer. He meets Dimitri, a Russian refugee who just moved in the flat next to Brent and soon they are attracted to each other. It’s a story of sacrifices, abuses, friendship and courage. It’s sweet and full of lovely characters; I liked each one of them.

I found White Lies to be what I call a “family’s book” because it’s not just Brent and Dimitri story, but Zack’s one too and it’s the story of Dimitri and his chance to have his own family in a better place. Everything is set around the family and the related feelings, first of all the love no matter what.

My issue with this book was its length. It was too short for the various themes the author decided to talk about. Especially in dealing with Dimitri’s past. It seemed to me a little shallow in some parts just cause it felt rushed. I liked the blurb but I was expecting something different and I would have preferred a longer and with more depth story. I hope the author will give us a sequel cause I’m really curious about how the MCs’ story developed. They need more.

At the end White Lies was a light and sweet short story, well written and easy to read. I like Jack Byrne’s style, in this book too, even if it’s not my favorite so far, but the characters made it an enjoyable reading.

Cover art by Bree Archer . I love the cover so much, especially in the light use of the violet color. It’s well done and the models reflect exactly how I imagined Brent and Dimitri in my mind. Well done!

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

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 89 pages
Published August 12th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN B0139STSQ6
Edition Language English
AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/White-Lies-Jack-Byrne-ebook/dp/B0139STSQ6
DSP

In Our Supernatural Spotlight: Werewolves of Brooklyn by Brad Vance (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Werewolves of Brooklyn by Brad Vance
Release Date: August 5, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Brad Vance
Cover Artist: Brad Vance

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Buy the book:  Amazon

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My Author Interview with Brad Vance

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Brad Vance, author of “Werewolves of Brooklyn.” Hi Brad, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

• Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy?

I’d say the hardest are the “feelings” scenes – not the romantic feelings but the painful elements of a character’s backstory that have made him who he is now. Delving into my own memories, remembering my own feelings of loss, humiliation, heartache, anger, really take it out of me. But without them, the characters don’t have depth, so it’s gotta get done. There’s a flashback scene with Albeus, the Werewolf King, in this latest book, where he has a vision of his role in the Civil War that just wrecked me. I was out of commission for a week after that. Right now I’m working on a science fiction novel as “Adam Vance,” and that’s a nice break – no emotional stuff!

• What do you think makes a good story?

It’s got to have all these ingredients: a pace that keeps you involved, a set of fascinating characters, a new world or a new take on a familiar one, believable dialog, and most importantly, believable actions – that is, if you’re writing about a federal agent, don’t just “make some stuff up” about how that agent would operate, or be punished for breaking rules, but research it, make it real. “Homeland” is silly in season 3 because the CIA knows Carrie is bipolar, nearly off her rocker sometimes, and yet, there she is again, entrusted with top secret info and in on the big decisions. You can only suspend disbelief so much!

• Do you hear from readers much? What do they say?

I do. I’m on Facebook all the time, and #TeamVance is always letting me know how much they love the books. I get a lot of positive feedback, and a lot of love when I get low and depressed because a title isn’t doing as well as I’d hoped.

• How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

A lot! I’ve got 34 active titles on Amazon right now. “Apollo’s Curse” is my favorite, it’s a novel about a romance writer who gets “cursed” with the ability to write one bestseller after another…but only for a year. After that, he’ll never write again, not even a grocery list. So he has to find out how to break the curse. It’s the best novel I’ve ever written, and maybe the best I ever will.

• What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to travel. I’m a total culture vulture – museums, plays, etc. I’m on hold travel-wise until next summer, since I’m saving for a big European trip. I’ve been to England and France, but this time I’m headed for Berlin. I had so much fun researching the city for my Kyle’s New Stepbrother stories that I just had to go myself – couldn’t let those boys have all the fun!

RC

Blurb

Darien Mackey wasn’t looking for an adventure. For ten years, he’d been happy living in Brooklyn, working as a butcher in the same job, living in the same apartment, dating some “nothing-special” guys. Until one night his buddy Jacob talked him into taking ayahuasca, the soul-changing drug. And Darien had a vision…of a wolf, its all-too-human eyes on him, its paws on his chest, its enquiring mind in his own…

Darien Mackey is changing. He’s more confident, more assertive, hungrier, hornier. And his world is changing around him – his job, his home, his beloved Mechanic’s Library all falling victim to the predations of unscrupulous developers, bent on demolishing the old Brooklyn he loves and replacing it with a forest of condos. But he’s no longer a passive observer of his own life, and as this thing, this power, grows inside of him, he resolves to fight back, to preserve the way of life he loves.

And he’s not alone in the fight. The Lipsius Preservation Society of Brooklyn stands ready to assist in the battle, even though it seems like a bit of a joke to Darien, with its King and its Duke, Marquess, Earl and Viscount.

But there’s nothing funny about his growing attraction to Albeus Finley, King of this mysterious Court. And when slumlords and condo-mongers start to die mysterious, violent deaths at the hands of savage animals, Darien begins to realize that something is afoot in Brooklyn – something supernatural.

And it’s afoot in him, too…

Pages or Words: 54,000 words
Categories: Historical, M/M Romance, Paranormal

Young male fashion model posing outdoors against rustic background

Excerpt

The wolf’s eyes were lava-yellow with hate. His growl and his snarl were meant to terrify Darien, to freeze him in his tracks, prepare him for his death.

Then something rose up in Darien, rage, frustration, primal energy. And his own lips curled, his own growl met the enemy’s.

The Duke retreated a pace, taken aback. Darien felt sharp pains in his palms and looked down. Where he’d had fingernails, he had claws, long and sharp, and the fists he was making were digging them into his flesh.

He smiled, exhilarated, wild. He lunged and snapped at his enemy, knowing that his canines had become…literally that, elongated spikes ready to tear out a neck.

Darien’s ears were ringing, something surging in him beyond mortal feeling – like testosterone but stronger, more powerful, the smell of victory, immortality.

“The King is mine,” Darien declared. “And I am his.”

He knew he’d taken a step from which there was no turning back. He was the King’s man, the King’s consort. He would open to Albeus and take him, and be taken by him, and he would be alone no more.

He was one of the pack.

And it curdled the blood of men for miles around when he raised his face to the full moon, and howled.

Young male fashion model posing outdoors against rustic background

About The Author

Brad Vance writes gay romance, erotica and paranormal stories and novels, including the breakout hits “A Little Too Broken” and “Given the Circumstances.” Keep up with Brad at BradVanceErotica.wordpress.com, email him at BradVanceErotica@gmail.com, and friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/brad.vance.10.

Where to find the author:

http://bradvanceerotica.wordpress.com
http://facebook.com/brad.vance.10
bradvanceerotica@gmail.com
BradVanceErotica on Google+
@BradVanceAuthor on Twitter
https://www.pinterest.com/bradvanceerotic/

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One of three e-book copies of ‘Werewolves of Brooklyn’ by Brad Vance.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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