A Mika Review: Redeeming Hope (Home for Hope #1) by Shell Taylor

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Redeeming Hope coverFifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.

A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.

When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.

I’m super shocked at how much I liked this story. A first for me by this author and I think she did a great job with the character development; she did a good job with them being adults and talking things through. They actually sat down and worked situations out. I liked how they were able to see where they were at and decided on where to go from there.  I’m not usually one for the slow burn books, but I liked that they became friends, fought like most friends do, broke up as friends and talked things through to become involved with each other.

Elijah is a good character with all these caring traits about himself, but he’s closeted. I think him being in the closet more had to deal with the unresolved grief that he’s suffered for the past 17 years. I get it, and I loved that he owned up to his mistakes. I liked that he did not make everything “woe is me.” I think he had to learn something about himself before he could be anything to Adam. One thing I like about Adam was his patience. He made a good speech almost towards the end about being patient enough to wait on Elijah.

I like that both of these men complimented each other at the best and worst of times. I really enjoyed Kollin’s point of view as well, and I think he showed Elijah another side of himself that he didn’t even know existed. I’m so looking forward to book two, and I hope that these guys can continue to talk. Communication is the most important thing to me, and I’m happy to finally read about some ADULTS. I’d recommend to everyone.

Cover Art by L. C. Chase.  I enjoyed the cover. I thought it was spot on with what went on with the story. Good looking Elijah as well.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 205 pages
Published October 5th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Redeeming Hope
ISBN13 9781634763776
edition language English

A Jeri Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale

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Rating:  2.5 stars out of 5

Let The Wrong Light In coverAvery works hard as a junior architect but nothing is good enough for his project manager Malin. After spending weeks on a brilliant design, only to have it red lined again, Avery confronts his boss. What he doesn’t expect is to be attracted to his boss. Sure he is bisexual, but his boss is as cold as Avery is warm.

I’m going to start with what I didn’t like about the book and why I gave it 2 ½ stars. Although it is told in the third person, it was VERY one sided. Almost the entire book was from Avery’s point of view which showed how he does anything and everything to make Malin happy but gets nothing in return. We as readers get nothing in return either.

It isn’t until almost the end of the book that we get Malin’s back story to explain why he is the way he is and while that does explain most of his “personality” (or lack thereof), I wish we had gotten it a lot sooner. By the time it does come up, it took a bit of work to conjour up any sympathy for him.

And sorry, but this is another example of an author playing at BDSM. It is brought up and dropped several times, was far from genuine and never came to a solid conclusion.

The biggest redeemer is Avery himself. He is so funny and likable. Even his one sided conversations made me smile when reading and he kept me turning the pages.

Overall it was ok but left me wanting more.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson. I could absolutely picture Avery as the man on the cover of the book- hipster glasses and all.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages, paperback
Published September 25th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original title Let the Wrong Light In
ISBN13 9781634763165
edition language English

A Free Dreamer Review: First Contact by Alex Gabriel

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5    ★★★★★

Going undercover in a gay BDSM club run by the mob isn’t Rick Delaney’s idea of a good time – but for all the wrong reasons.

First Contact coverSure, going undercover in a gay BDSM club run by the mob isn’t exactly an everyday assignment. Still, as a cop specializing in undercover work, Rick Delaney is used to tough gigs. The real issue is that Rick’s expected to go under with someone he barely knows. But Rick’s partner is suspended, and he doesn’t have a choice.

Newly transferred detective Jon Messina’s short a partner, too, except that his was murdered by the mafia. Jon may seem breezy and lighthearted, but he has a score to settle. And to do so, he’s willing to do whatever it takes.

Except that it may take more than either of them can afford. Because their cover as a dom and sub couple spins out of control the minute they set foot into mafia-controlled sex club Gomorrah. What should be mere pretense threatens to become desperately real. And if Rick can’t control his desires, he’s going to get them both killed.

If I had to describe this book with one word, it would be: HOT. This is my fifth book by Alex Gabriel and the hottest one I’ve enjoyed the most so far.

There’s Rick, slightly awkward, can’t string two words together when nervous. And then there’s Jon, happy-go-lucky, friendly, confident and taller than Rick. Clearly, Rick’s going to end up the sub and Jon’s going to be the Dom. At least, that’s what I thought when I started this. Turns out I was wrong. Rick becomes the Dom and Jon the sub. And damn, that was HOT.

First, Rick is anything but thrilled to have to work with Jon. He’s already got a partner, after all and just because he’s currently suspended doesn’t mean he wants a new one. And going undercover in a gay BDSM club with a man he knows nothing about isn’t his idea of fun either.

But the moment Rick and Jon set foot into the BDSM club, it all suddenly becomes very real. Rick is incredibly attracted to Jon and has a very hard time controlling himself. UST of the kind that had me drooling and melting ensues. FINALLY a book with some serious tension between the MCs! Everything set in the club was incredibly hot, even though the two of them didn’t engage in anything particularly kinky. There’s a bit of voyeurism and some serious exhibitionism later on in the book, but otherwise it was relatively kink-free. But that was enough to create a smouldering hot atmosphere. When the sex finally did happen, I was blown away. Again, I can only say: Hot, hot, hot!

This wasn’t pure porn, though. Jon’s partner was killed by the mob and Rick’s partner is obviously in trouble as well. I really liked that the two of them actually talked to each other, something that sadly doesn’t always happen in romance.  And while the lust started burning hard and fast, the love was kept in check. No insta-love here!

I liked that the author didn’t stick to the common stereotypes. Not only Rick and Jon are unexpected in their roles, there’s also a mob prince, who is openly submissive and who seems to be very nice. I’d love to read about him and his Dom.

Now, the ending was very open, leaving almost everything unresolved. But the author did say she was working on a sequel, so I’m not going to complain too much.

“First Contact” was incredibly hot, ignored common D/s stereotypes and was generally very addicting. If I’d had the time, I would have read this in one sitting.

I can’t wait for the promised sequel!

Cover Art: The cover by Ethiriel is very simple, and yet it speaks volumes. Somehow, it’s incredibly hot, although it only shows a pair of cuffs and nothing else. Well done!

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 29th 2014 by Smashwords Edition
(first published December 22nd 2014)
ISBN139781311120076

Coffee Sip and Book Break with Keeping Joshua (The Joshua Series #2) by Grein Murray (excerpt and giveaway)

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Keeping Joshua E-Book Cover

Keeping Joshua (The Joshua Series #2) by Grein Murray
Release Date: September 18, 2015

 Goodreads Link
Publisher: Grein Murray
Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis

Buy the book:   Amazon

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Blurb

Joshua and Michael have been together for six months and now face a bump in their relationship. With a budding modeling career for Joshua and a new business for Michael, the distance between them continues to grow. Joshua drifts away from his best friend Max. Feeling alone and abandoned, Joshua turns to a new friend who causes more problems. Will Michael and Joshua’s love be able to withstand the onslaught of challenges?

 

Pages or Words: 232 pages
Categories: Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

 

Excerpt

“Wait, is this the sandbar we snorkeled at on our first date?”

“Yes, the very one.” Michael smiled and walked to the front of the boat and dropped the anchor. The tide was very low so they walked in just a couple of feet of water to get to the sandbar. The sun’s rays were starting to shine across the ocean.

The table had plates of food set out and a pitcher of orange juice.

“Who did you get to come out this early and set this up?” Joshua sat down in one of the chairs. He couldn’t believe Michael went through so much trouble and was confused why Michael was doing something so romantic out of the blue.

“Actually—” Michael lowered Joshua’s hood and looked into his eyes. “Max and Sam set this up for us. Remind me that I owe them a favor or two for this.” He sat down and reached across the table and held Joshua’s hand.

“I haven’t missed an important date like an anniversary or something, right?”

“Do I need an excuse to treat my boyfriend to breakfast on a sandbar?” Michael beamed.

 

RC

 

Meet the Author

When I’m not writing I like going to concerts. Music is a big part of my life, I’ve played bass guitar since I was a teen. I love nature and enjoy hiking and working with causes that help protect our planet and wild animals.

I have loved books all of my life and have always enjoyed escaping the ordinary world by getting lost in a good book. I read a lot of different genres of books but have fallen in love with MM. I support the gay community and hope one day people will see that love is love and that it is a beautiful thing no matter your gender, race or religion. Joshua and his story have been in my head for years but I never took the time to write it.

With encouragement from some fellow authors and friends I took the leap and now all of you can get to know my characters and I hope you love them as much as I do.

Where to find the author:

 

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Rainbow Gold Reviews, The Hat Party, MM Good Book Reviews, Bike Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Divine Magazine, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter, Inked Rainbow Reads, Unquietly Me, Jessie G. Books, Mikky’s World of Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Molly Lolly, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Velvet Panic

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $5.00 Amazon gift card. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. 

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In Our Spotlight: Andrew Q. Gordon on his latest release, Purpose (guest post and giveaway)

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Purpose by Andrew Q Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date:  October 6th

Edition: Second (Re-written, re-edited, new cover)
Goodreads
Genre: Paranormal, Gay Fiction

We are happy to have Andrew Q. Gordon here today to talk about his latest novel, Purpose.  Welcome, Andrew.  Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the story and the characters.

Vengeance. Revenge. Vigilante justice. None of these are especially positive words, especially not to law enforcement officers. But think of all the anti-hero heroes; Batman, Wolverine, for those older like me, the Walking Tall movies [The Originals from the 70’s or the Rock’s remake in 2004, or Charles Bronson in the “Death Wish” movies. (for those who don’t know these, click the links). Everyone loves the bad guy who is taking down the real bad guys. It’s a very Machiavellian approach where the ends justify the means.

“Thanks. There is more than a bit of that in Purpose. William Morgan is the human host to the spirit of vengeance. He deals out ‘justice’ to those who have killed an innocent person. And while the innocent victims are avenged, Will kills a lot of people. Regardless of how we feel about the original crime, how many of us would really sanction killing the killer? Maybe a few, maybe more, but that is probably not the position most of us would take in polite company. Why? Because civilized society is built on laws that don’t allow us to take the law into our own hands. And yet…

Among the themes I’ve tried to weave into Purpose, is whether or not the law is willing to turn a blind eye to these events. Certainly Commissioner Gordon didn’t exactly object to what Batman did. Same in Death Wish. There seems to be this tendency among the top brass—at least in movies and comic books—to look the other way and secretly applaud the ‘bad guy protagonist’ for doing what law enforcement couldn’t.

I can’t say if that is truly the view of those in charge, but from my twenty plus years working with law enforcement officers I can say it is certainly an unspoken feeling among the rank and file frustrated by what they perceive as the lack of consequences. That said, I don’t think they would turn a blind eye to someone who killed another, even if it were in retaliation. I’ve never met anyone who would welcome a full on vigilante in the community.

In Purpose there are two different law enforcement characters. Detective Daniel Griffin is a homicide detective who firmly believes in upholding the law. Will is a vigilante, at times Det. Griffin calls him the devil. Dealing with Will, however, upends his world. Will offers him the chance to always get the right person. But Griffin isn’t quite able to reconcile the good with the cost. One of the journeys in the book is Griffin’s as Will forces him to question his beliefs.

The other is Agent Barrington. His worldview is clear: Will is bad and must be caught. He has no interest in dealing with the devil.  Where Griffin quickly realizes he has no chance of catching Will, Barrington takes a different approach. His methods, however, demonstrate how similar he and Will are—or not.

As the three interact, decisions are made, perceptions change and motives are revealed. The cover reflects the duality of the entire situation and hopefully that is reflected in the story.

Enjoy— Andrew

Blurb

2nd Edition

Forty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.

Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2013.

Buy Links: DSP Publications |Amazon | Omnilit | Barnes & Noble

Video Trailer:

Direct Link HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESpN50Ae2Nghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESpN50Ae2Ng

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Giveaway

Click on the Rafflecopter Link or Enter on the RC below for a chance to win one of the following.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and tour organizer.

First Prize: $25 Giftcard to Dreamspinner Press
Second Prize: Autographed Paperback copy of Purpose

The tour organizer will select a winner from entries received as of close of business 21 October. Be sure to leave a thoughtful comment on each stop on the tour for additional chances to win.

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General Excerpt

He turned where he saw the others disappear and understood why they had stopped: dead-end alley. Ryan stood with his back to the brick wall, wide-eyed and pale. Gar noted the uncontrollable shake in Ryan’s body as the four jackals slowly inched closer. White knuckles surrounded the small bag he’d carried off the train.

The one closest to Ryan inched closer. “You know what time it is.”

“Police!” Gar didn’t wait for them to react to his command. He tightened his leg muscles and moved the moment everyone turned toward the front of the alley. Using the split second before they could focus on him, he leaped over them, twisting in the process.

The space between them and Ryan wasn’t much, but he managed to avoid contact with the kid, landing a foot to the left. He reached into his coat and removed a collapsible metal baton with his right hand and a pair of brass knuckles with the left.

One step right, and he completely covered Ryan’s shaking form. Not risking a glance back, he kept his eyes on the startled thieves in front of him.

“Stay behind me, Ryan.”

A muffled grunt, barely audible, told Gar the kid heard him. He dropped the police officer illusion, staring calmly at his prey. Assessing his adversaries, he ignored the hint of a thought that said they were not the guilty. Too late for that—they would have been had he not stopped them.

“I know what time it is,” he hissed, tossing the slang for street robberies back in their face. “Time for vengeance to collect its fee.”

In the recent past, Gar had taken to finding a way to take out the guilty without doing it himself. This time he couldn’t risk it; Ryan was too close. One of them had a gun. He could smell it now.

He definitely didn’t have time to make it look like an accident.

Spinning on his left foot, he kicked the kid with the gun so hard his skullcap flew off when his head hit the wall. Allowing his movement to carry him around, he brought the metal baton down on the arm of a robber with a knife. Metal on flesh and bone was no contest. Gar saw Ryan flinch when the kid let out a scream of agony and fell to the ground.

At least he would live, Gar noted. The first kid was probably dead already. The other two were rooted in place, stunned into inaction. Two seconds ago, they were about to rob a defenseless kid. Now they were being taken apart. Before they could run away, Gar lashed out.

Using the palm of his left hand, he struck the one closest to him. Even using the inner part of his hand, he heard the brass knuckles crack the kid’s sternum when he connected. The last kid finally moved and made it three steps before Gar swept his feet out from under him with the baton.

The face looking up in terror was that of a kid, a juvenile. They were all kids. Reaching toward the teen’s head, he heard movement behind him.

“Gar.” Ryan’s timid, urgent tone caused him to turn. “Don’t kill him.”

“I won’t.” His voice was a cold hiss. Instead, he touched the sweaty forehead, inserting confused thoughts. He quickly repeated the process with the others. The first kid still lived, but probably not for long. The other two, he left sobbing out their pain.

“Come on.” He grabbed Ryan’s left arm. “We need to go.”

Ryan resisted the pull, but Gar was prepared for this. “Either you come with me or I leave you to explain this.”

Author Bio

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting to the times, he now writes with a shiny new AQGAuthorImage300x300MacBook that he sets on the same desk as his manual typewriter and vintage adding machine.

Long a fan of super heroes, wizards and sports, Andrew’s works include high fantasy, paranormal spirits, magic as well as contemporary fiction. He is still trying to find the perfect story that will include all his favorites under one cover.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his husband, their young daughter and dog.  In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and occasionally sleeping.

THE LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE:  “http://andrewqgordon.com/
FACEBOOK:  “https://www.facebook.com/dominic.andrews.7568

PurposeTourSidebarTour Schedule

6 Oct – Elin Gregory
6 Oct – Jessie G Books
7 Oct – Divine Magazine
8 Oct – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
9 Oct – Hearts on Fire Reviews
9 Oct – MM Good Book Reviews
10 Oct – Author Susan Mac Nicol
10 Oct – Wake Up Your Wild Side
11 Oct – The Purple Rose Tea House
12 Oct – Love Bytes Reviews
12 Oct – Queer SciFi
13 Oct – World of Diversity Fiction
14 Oct –  Prism Book Alliance
15 Oct – Diverse Reader
16 Oct – Loving Without Limits
17 Oct – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
18 Oct – BFD Book Blog
18 Oct – Wicked Faeries Tales and Reviews
19 Oct – Molly Lolly
20 Oct – Drops of Ink