Scary Review Redux: Lily By Xavier Axelson (A MelanieM Review)


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Being a single Dad is hard enough but when Pryor loses his daughter Lily in an unthinkable event he thinks he has experienced the ultimate horror but it’s when Lily returns he realizes his nightmare has only just begun…

LilyWhen Pryor’s daughter Lily is taken by a wolf, Pryor is convinced she has turned into the creature he sees lurking in his woods. He swears she promises to return to him. But is it his despair and desperation making him see things or is there something more lurking in the shadows of the forest?

When he meets Ned, a silversmith who helps him with a plan to bring his daughter back into his life, he begins to live again. But can his newfound love help ease the horror that may be waiting? What if the ultimate horror isn’t when Lily was taken but it’s when Lily returns and he realizes his nightmare has only just begun…Its Father’s Day and two men are waiting for a little girl to appear.  They are waiting for Lily.    Lily, his beloved little girl, had been lost a year ago, dragged off into the woods by a wolf.  In the time since, Pryor, consumed with his loss, has retreated to his cabin, his days numbed by his grief. Only the love and support of  Ned, his partner, and a plan to reclaim his daughter has kept him sane.  And now the time has come to see if she will return to him, if only for a day.

What a marvelous short story Lily is.  Lyrical in language and strong in its empathy for a parent’s pain, it has a singular voice in Pryor, Lily’s father.  To Pryor ” still believe being Lily’s father is the most important thing in this world.”  And you feel that hole in his life so acutely as she described just before she is ripped from him, her hair all “wild and white – blonde”.  Pryor’s voice and his descriptions provide a wealth of clues and information about his past.  He hears voices, whether is the derogatory words of his dead mother, or whispers from the woods.    He described his lover’s beard as his “summer fur”, and stares into the moonlight woods searching for signs of his daughter.   All three characters here are beautifully realized, one heartbroken, one steady and one filled with wildness and innocence.  I love how we are fed bits of information until we can finally spin together the fibers that make up the tapestry that is this family and its tragedy.

There is such a distinctive style to this story, as the mundane are juxtaposed with the magical.  Like silk against the skin, this story glides over into your memory.  I loved this and hope you will feel the same.

New cover, much better than the original.  Adds a little more shiver to the tone with the new font and love the white wolf. Although I am never a fan of a division so severe in the design, the red line here, especially when it bisects the title.  That’s a minus.


Sales Links:  Amazon | Buy It Here

Books Details:

ebook, 54 pages, every page a must read
Published May 2014 by Seventh Window Publications (first published January 13th 2012)
edition languageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Purpose by Andrew Q. Gordon


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Purpose coverForty 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.

There are two things you should know before you start reading this book. First of all, the story is pretty violent at times. In the beginning, Gar is essentially a cold-blooded killer. He does have his reasons, but he still kills people. Second, there is no happy end, probably making “Purpose” more of a sci-fi/fantasy story than a traditional romance.

This book was incredibly intense and emotionally challenging. I found myself deeply engrossed after only a few sentences. I couldn’t put my kindle down at all. I started this on a long train ride, where I usually read a bit and then turn on my laptop. This time, I didn’t even unpack my laptop. And the train ride suddenly wasn’t all that long either.

The setting seemed very unique to me. Gar/Will is possessed by what he refers to as the Purpose. He doesn’t really know all that much about It. He only knows that It somehow draws the souls of innocents to him and he has to avenge them by killing their killers. Memories of former hosts have shown him that ignoring Its will results in insanity within a few days.

Like previous hosts, Will has adapted the persona of Gar, a cold, emotionless man, who lives solely for the Purpose. He doesn’t have friends, family or a lover, so when he finds himself suddenly attracted to Ryan, it comes as a huge shock. He hasn’t been attracted to anybody in forty years and suddenly he feels like he just has to speak to this stranger on the train.

With Ryan’s help, Will takes over again and pushes Gar to the back of his mind. It was intriguing to watch cold, distant Gar slowly turn back into Will. They really felt like two completely different people. Reading about Will’s pain broke my heart. Reading about his struggles and doubts made me want to hug him. It was frighteningly easy to feel really connected to him.

The author came up with some pretty interesting ideas. Like the scrambler-box that lets Will turn invisible or take on a completely different look at his will. That explains how he managed to go undetected for forty years. He did kill countless people, after all, and the police don’t make a distinction between innocent victims and those who truly deserve to die. The author eventually came up with a thoroughly logical explanation for everything and I absolutely love him for that. Andrew Q. Gordon really thought this through.

The relationship between Ryan and Will is absolutely crucial for the plot and yet somehow doesn’t really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things at the same time. I could really feel the connection between those two.

The author decided to solely write from Will’s POV, which worked really well. I loved that there were more personal journal entries in between the normal chapters. Even when Will was still Gar, the journal entries felt very thoughtful and emotional.

I decided to knock off half a star because while there eventually was an explanation for everything, it took a long time to get to that point, often leaving me wondering just how this all worked.

To sum it up, I absolutely loved this book. It was unique, imaginative, intense and deeply moving. Had everything been explained a little sooner, I would’ve happily given this the full five stars.

This is my first book by Andrew Q. Gordon, but it definitely won’t be my last. This man seriously knows how to write!

I’m also fast becoming a real fan of DSP Publications and their unique fantasy novels.

Cover: The cover by AngstyG is brilliant. It shows Gar in his black-and-white world and Will in his world that suddenly has shades of gray.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by DSP Publications* (first published June 21st 2013)
ISBN1634761626 (ISBN13: 9781634761628)
edition language English

A BJ Review: Dark Space (Dark Space #1) by Lisa Henry


Rating:  5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Dark Space coverBrady Garrett needs to go home. He’s a conscripted recruit on Defender Three, one of a network of stations designed to protect the Earth from alien attack. He’s also angry, homesick, and afraid. If he doesn’t get home he’ll lose his family, but there’s no way back except in a body bag.

Cameron Rushton needs a heartbeat. Four years ago Cam was taken by the Faceless—the alien race that almost destroyed Earth. Now he’s back, and when the doctors make a mess of getting him out of stasis, Brady becomes his temporary human pacemaker. Except they’re sharing more than a heartbeat: they’re sharing thoughts, memories, and some very vivid dreams.

Not that Brady’s got time to worry about his growing attraction to another guy, especially the one guy in the universe who can read his mind. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just biochemistry and electrical impulses. It doesn’t change the truth: Brady’s alone in the universe.

Now the Faceless are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do. You can’t stop your nightmares. Cam says everyone will live, but Cam’s probably a traitor and a liar like the military thinks. But that’s okay. Guys like Brady don’t expect happy endings.

Lovely sci-fi story. Intriguing premise, wonderful writing that dragged me right into the action and didn’t let me go. Awesome world-building. But overall it was the characters that blew me away. Such nuance! The telepathy between the two main characters was handled beautifully. Cam’s face and reputation had drilled into Brady’s mind. But everyone had given him up for dead. Now he’s not only back among the living, but connected to Brady. In his head. Heart beats synced. But really… imagine having to share your head with a sexy, poster boy soldier emerging from a traumatic experience that you yourself could never have endured.

For me, this story showed so clearly how two people often react so completely differently to the same experience. How they handle it and deal with it in ways that the other may even find hard to understand. While one person may come through an event mostly unscathed and may even look back and see the positives that came from it, another may come away severely damaged.  Cam came through the traumatic events with Kai-Ren and the faceless, but Brady clearly would not have been able to do the same.

Despite the dark elements of this story (prior non-con for both main characters, scary, no terrifying, aliens, and even the death of secondary character) and the dismal dystopian world in which it’s set, the relationship that develops between these two MCs is amazingly sweet and their sex nurturing as well as sizzling hot. The angst was handled perfectly.

For those who don’t believe in gay-for-you, give this one a try. It might change your mind. That element was excellently handled. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Brady didn’t have any lengthy self-hating, but analyzed and accepted what he was feeling. Heck, every element was excellently handled. This was a stunning story—I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Well, yes, I could. I want more! And luckily, the author seems to have heard our cry as book two, Darker Space, is out now. Look for my review here soon.

The cover set’s the theme perfectly as m/m sci-fi… the darker, muted colors work perfect for the novel’s tone. The model is exactly how I had pictured the main character Brady.

Sales Links:   Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Loose Id, LLC
original titleDark Space
seriesDark Space #1

Dark Space
Darker Space (Dark Space)

A Paul B Review: Paws, Preening and a Pumpkin Patch (Wolves of Stone Ridge #31) by Charlie Richards


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Paws, Preening and a Pumpkin Patch coverHessian (Hess) Roshburg, a Kodiak bear shifter, has come to the Stone Ridge wolf pack territory to meet with a former military acquaintance.  It seems the pack has gotten itself mixed up with some vampire, gargoyles and the CIA.  He also has information about the shifter council that he believes that the pack alpha Declan McIntire should know about.

Gilbert, a raven shifter, and his flock have recently settled in the territory of the Stone Ridge wolf pack after being held captive in Russian for several years.  The wolves helped liberate them from the captors and offered them sanctuary until they have readjusted to real life.  Things like clothes and how to use a telephone is lost on members of his flock who were taken captive at an early age.  To help in their transition Gilbert and his flock decide to go out dancing at a local club that is frequented by the local shifters.

At the bar, Gilbert watches members of his flock flirt hopelessly at the bar staff and other bar patrons.  While headed to the bar to retrieve drinks for his friends, he runs into a big bear of a man.  Gilbert realizes that not only is this man a shifter, but also his mate.  Gilbert tells Hess that Fate must be mistaken since they are total opposites and that now was not exactly a good time to find his mate as his flock needs him.  Hess must convince his mate that he can have both if he wants.  However, will the information that Hess has retrieved for his friend put a premature stop to this mating before it even begins?

This thirty-first book in the Stone Ridge series introduces two new characters in the series.  We have met Gilbert in passing while he was held captive in Russia but know nothing about him.  His reluctance to mate with Hess is understandable.  First he is the de facto beta to this flock of birds that have been held captive for up to forty years for some of them.  Next, he feels that Hess has betrayed them because government agents are after Hess because of the information that he stole.  The character of Hess was somewhat confusing to me.  He left his clan at 27 because he was stronger than the alpha but is still roaming about as a loner.  And he speaks to others in somewhat youngish manner.  He calls a cougar shifter “kitty” and his mate “pretty slender.”  It just seemed out of place for someone who is as strong as Hess is supposed to be.  But I still enjoyed the book despite this.

The cover art by Angela Waters once again delivers.  It shows Gilbert in the foreground in his human form with Hess in his bear form wandering around a pumpkin patch in the background.  The cover perfectly fits the book.

Sales Links:  Extasy Books | Goodreads | Amazon

Buy It Here

Book details

ebook, 102 pages
Published October 15th 2015 by Extasy Books
edition languageEnglish
seriesWolves of Stone Ridge #31

Series:  Wolves of Stone Ridge

Get Into the Halloween Spirit with VL Locey ‘An Erie Halloween’ (excerpt and giveaway)


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An Erie Halloween (Lake Erie Shifters #1) by V.L. Locey
Release Date: October 20, 2013

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press



Templeton Reed has been hiding his inner polecat since he was a child. Keeping his animal secreted is hard for a shifter, especially when one is living in a secret community of mystical beings. It`s the wolf shifters that cause Templeton the most trouble with their darned sensitive noses.

Templeton has a run-in with the Lake Erie pack and their alpha, Mikel Lupei, at the Office for Transmogrification Registration (OTTER). Templeton has a desk job checking registration papers and dealing with wolf shifters is not part of his job description. After that upsetting meeting the meek and mild office worker suddenly finds himself in the center of not only civil unrest among the shifter community, but a violent plan for a coup aimed at rousting Mikel.

Templeton and Mikel, a skilled tracker of rogue shifters, are soon not only fighting for their lives, they`re also fighting the rigidly archaic rules of their kind, as well as the person responsible for trying to take over Mikel`s pack from the inside. Can this magical odd couple turn a passionate attraction into a full-fledged love affair?


Pages or Words: 65 pages
Categories: M/M Romance, Paranormal


As I walked, I rolled odd change around inside my coat pockets. The streets were busy as last minute shoppers ran to get their candy and costumes for the big night tomorrow. Head down and mind running a mile a minute, I never saw the brick wall disguised as a man I ran into. Face into the wind, I never smelled him either. The amber eyes and brindle hair were all that stopped me from either screaming or shifting. Mikel pulled me into a small bookstore. I went along because I really had no choice, but once inside the quaint bookery, I jerked my arm from his grasp. Several patrons glanced at us. Mikel muscled me into a row holding non-fiction and historical. He grabbed a book and opened it, his sharp gaze flitting between me and a fascinating how-to grow-your-own-beets book.

“Is there a reason you abducted me from the street?” I asked, moving back slightly when his big body pressed closer to allow a woman to pass behind him. His proximity was beyond distressing. It was arousing. Now that he had me cornered, there was no getting away from the heady scent that he exuded: Part sin, part warm fur, part earthy pine, wholly distracting.

“I`ve been trying to contact you for days. Why didn`t you return my calls?” he whispered, keeping his big chest plastered to my left arm. My spine was firmly against a bookshelf.

“There are several reasons,” I replied trying to sound snooty but sounding meagerly twitterpated. “One is that our classes don`t mix. . .”

“That`s a paltry reason, Templeton,” Mikel said gruffly, snapping his beet book closed.

“Well, it may be for you, but when one`s boss tells one to keep his distance and – hey!” I grabbed for my glasses when he plucked them off the bridge of my nose. Folding my arms over my pea coat, I glowered at the oaf. There would be no leaping up and down. Those days ended when I left high school. The touch of his fingers on my chin brought out an age-old response. I jerked back hard. The bookcase behind me wobbled dangerously. Mikel dropped his book to steady the shelving unit. My heart was trying to explode through my chest like an alien baby. The lycan inhaled several times then gave me a dark look.

“Calm yourself, Templeton, your odor is growing stronger.”

“Sorry, it`s just this is all too – too much,” I gasped, working to calm myself before the tingling at the base of my spine began. The bells over the front door tinkled melodiously. Soft conversation bounced off the spines of books. Mikel tipped my head back and kissed me. Right there in the middle of the non-fiction. His lips were soft. Sinfully soft. It took my lashes a moment after his mouth left mine to flutter upward. Squinting skyward, I tried to read his face but it was a blur. My glasses were placed back onto my face, albeit crookedly, and then I could see the glow of golden eyes. Oh my . .

Buy the book: Torquere Books

SAVE 50% by using this code: eriehalloween at checkout.


Meet the Author

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.


Where to find the author:


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Contemporary Spotlight: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married ( Wake Up Married Episode 1) by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths


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Will & Patrick Wake Up Married ( Wake Up Married, Episode 1)

by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

Publisher:  Leta Blake Books
Release Date: October 27, 2015

Genre:  Romantic Comedy M/M Romance
Tags:  gay, woke up married, tropes, rom-com, mafia, forced marriage, disabled heroes

Book/Buy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Wake Up Married Banner

Book Blurb

Join the wild ride in this vibrant and fun first installment of the new romantic comedy serial by best-selling author Leta Blake and newcomer Alice Griffiths!

After a drunken night of hot sex in Vegas, strangers Will Patterson and Dr. Patrick McCloud wake up married. A quickie divorce is the most obvious way out—unless you’re the heir of a staunchly Catholic mafia boss with a draconian position on the sanctity of marriage.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Will and Patrick don’t like it, or each other, but they have to make the best of it until they can find another way out of their marriage. To ensure the trust fund Will’s charitable foundation relies on isn’t revoked by his mobster grandfather, he and Patrick travel to Will’s hometown of Healing, South Dakota, posing as a newlywed couple in the throes of true love at first sight.

Complicating their scheme are Will’s unresolved feelings for his all-too-recent ex-boyfriend Ryan, and Patrick’s desire to get back to the only thing that really matters to him in life: neurosurgery. Will they fool everyone? Or will the mafia get wind that their marriage is a fake? Throw their simmering attraction into the mix and all bets are off!

Episode 1 of 6 in the Wake Up Married Serial.


Patrick sits down beside Will and rubs his hands together in anticipation. “So, what did Granny say? Can she free me from the shackles of our loveless union?”

Will puts his head in his hands. “It’s not going to be as easy as I hoped initially. It might take some time.”

“We knew that. How much time? A week? Two?”

“Maybe a month?”

“What?” Patrick’s voice is loud.

“Maybe more than a month? Possibly up to a year?”

Patrick’s eyes grow dark with anger. “Don’t tell me the all-powerful Eleanora Molinaro you were going on about so enthusiastically when you were convincing me of this half-baked scheme can’t make a little inadvertent marriage disappear.”

“Could you hold it down?” Will whispers. “Or do you want someone to hear?”

“Oooh, right, the Molinaro spies. Might have the place bugged. Guess I shouldn’t yell then? I’m not your toy, Will. I want a divorce and I want one now,” Patrick hollers.

Will glares at him. He raises his own voice, saying, “Don’t be so dramatic, baby!”

He stares Patrick down, daring him to say something else. “You know I love you more than life!”

Patrick looks daggers at him. “Who do you think you’re fooling, Will? The bellhops? The maids?” He wipes a hand across his face and rises. “You know, no. I can’t believe I’ve let your paranoia and insanity drag me across the country into this hornet’s nest of absurdity and—”

Patrick rants on, but Will’s not paying attention anymore, because Patrick’s tossing his new clothes onto the bed, and getting out his suitcases.

“Wait,” Will says, putting his hands on Patrick’s arms. “Wait, don’t.”

Patrick throws a shirt into the bag and sighs. “What do you want from me? I gave your plan a chance, but there is no way in hell I’m going to hang around this town for a year. Not when I could be at the Mayo Clinic or Cedars-Sinai or Vandy. Not when I can be honing my skills and expanding my practice. I am not small-town material, Will. I’m the big-time. I have absolutely no desire to play your loving spouse indefinitely and if

your grandmother can’t get us out of this mess? Well, I sure as hell can.”

“Look,” Will says. “I know you can. I just need you…no, no, stop that. You’re not going anywhere.” Will pushes Patrick, trying to move him away from the bags.

Patrick lurches toward him, gripping his forearms and shoving him back with surprising strength. “I’ve been pushed around enough in my life, Will. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m going to take care of this my way.”

Will breathes in hard. Terror and attraction jolts through him at once. He swallows and backs away from Patrick, his hands shaking, and his throat dry. Blood rushes in his ears.

Patrick picks up his bag and heads for the door. Will tries to block Patrick from getting it open.

“Really? It’s come to this? Holding me against my will?”

Will pushes the barely open door shut with a hard slam. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Patrick. This is just our first lover’s spat. That’s all. The first of many to come in our long, wonderfully happy marriage.”

Patrick stares at him like he’s kind of impressed by this level of insanity. “Good God, you’re drinking your own Kool-Aid.”

“Yeah, well, it’s a very, very expensive drink.”

“You think you’re so clever don’t you?”

Will shrugs. “I think I don’t know what else to do.”

Heat Level (1 being no sexual content, 5 being erotica): 2 for this Episode, 5 for entire serial
Pairing: M/M
Length: 32,000 words

Author Biosimage

Leta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

Alice Griffiths

A long-time reader of romance novels, Alice Griffiths finally took the plunge into writing, teaming up with best-selling author Leta Blake for the ‘Woke up Married’ serialized comedy. A lover of tropes, Alice enjoys mining old ideas and putting a fresh, funny spin on them. Formerly working in the newspaper industry, Alice is now an art curator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

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