A MelanieM Review: Accidental Hero (Sanctuary (Volume 2 – The Chicago arc) #1) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sanctuary 8Chicago Cop Simon Grant and Sanctuary operative Cain Brodie, have to be the heroes of their own stories, just to stay alive.

Everyone wants Chicago cop, Simon Grant, dead. Armed with an address, he is on the run and heading for Sanctuary, only to end up at the wrong end of a gun. Is it possible the tall amber-eyed man holding the gun is actually going to be able to help him?

Cain Brodie is in charge of Sanctuary’s new Chicago office, C-Tower. His well organized administration day takes an unexpected turn when he has a man wanted for murder right in his gun sights. Thrust into a situation he has no control over suddenly he needs to be the one in control.

Accidental or not, Simon and Cain have to be the heroes of their own stories, just to stay alive.

With Accidental Hero, RJ Scott starts an entire new storyline in her Sanctuary series.  The Bullen arc which concluded with Worlds Collide (Sanctuary #7) was a terrific action/adventure series,  packed full of espionage, mystery and rugged, wounded men.  I loved it.

Now comes a new arc and it looks to be just as addictive with an elusive, ruthless adversary at the heart of the series.  Here we get our introduction to the first line of characters, the setup, and a new location for operations.  That is a lot for one story to handle but R. J. Scott does so, while including a hot, gorgeous new couple to connect with immediately.

When we meet Chicago P.D. Officer Simon Grant he’s already on the run, and looking for Sanctuary.  He’s bloody, scared and confused.   And he’s a good man.  The author throws us into his heart and mind, so we are with him every scary step of the way, even as he plows into  Cain Brodie, not knowing he’s just found the key to his salvation and Sanctuary.

The trick to this series and the coupling is Scott’s marvelous characterization and intense situations.  Attachments form quickly under such situations, the men have access to intel about each other, learn how they act in what are basically pressure cooker conditions and when they mesh (and they do), it feels natural.  Add in gun shots, explosions and yes, pain and the picture is complete. You understand how and why these men bond, why they form a team so quickly.

Another great plus?  Characters and couples from the Bullen arc will be popping up here.  Already Manny and Josh, Beckett and Kayden, even Elliot have been present or mentioned.  I am eagerly  anticipating who’s next on the roster of appearances.

The bad guy?  Ghost.  That is also the name of the next story.  I will be in line to read it.  I am so happy R.J.Scott decided to start a second arc.  It looks to be a terrific one.  I absolutely recommend it.

Cover art by Meredith Russell does a great job again with the cover for the story and series.  Love the Chicago skyline at the bottom.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 288 pages
Published November 20th 2015 by Love Lane Books Limited
ISBN139781785640292
edition languageEnglish
series: Sanctuary (Volume 2 – The Chicago arc) #1

A MelanieM Advent Story Review: Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce by Brandon Witt

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryPaxton Peterson’s favorite day of the year is his annual Gay Boy Christmas dinner. He’s checked and double-checked his to-do list, because nothing stresses him out like the unexpected. Confident everything will run smoothly, Paxton embarks on his yearly snowshoed hike through the Rocky Mountains near his home. His perfectly planned evening is cut short by Logan Charles’s careless enjoyment of his brother’s snowmobile, and Paxton is stranded in the woods. It’s the worst thing that could’ve possibly happened to him—or maybe the best.

Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce by Brandon Witt was that unexpected present you find under the tree, the one you have no idea what’s inside from the shape or in this case the title.  What Brandon Witt delivers is a delightful tale of a annual hike gone wrong when he gets hit by a snowmobile.  The characterizations are realistic, the  scenes beautifully rendered, glowing yet natural, and the men funny and real.

I so wanted to spend more time with them and to see what happened as the door shut behind them.  No instant love, nothing more remarkable than a new connection that sparkles and might turn into something wonderful for the future.  I loved this story and hope that the author will take this couple and revisit them in the future.

Love Christmas stories but without a lot of sweetness or holiday overtones?  This is the one for you.

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

Book Details:

| Buy It Here

Kindle Edition, 25 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RRVVV4
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A Mika Review: Fish Stick Fridays (Half Moon Bay #1) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars            ★★★★★

Fish Stick FridaysDeacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

I wonder if Rhys Ford has a magic chair that she sits in at home to churn out these 5-star books and characters. I mean I expected nothing less, but a couple of months ago when she announced that she had a new series starting I was elated. I mean, c’mon. everyone knows how I feel about Cole and Jae; they are my heart. She announced a new series, and a freaking kid was a main character. I was down for it. I love children in my stories. Their age adds an extra layer of vulnerability to the characters.

This book was everything and more that I could ever ask for. I am swooning for Deke! He’s amazing. He hasn’t had an easy life, and anybody’s that went through what he did would understand if he decided to be selfish and only look out for himself. His lack of parents, the fast life he grew up in couldn’t prepare him for caring for his 8 year old niece Bobo Zigfried! She’s a tornado wrapped in a hurricane. Full of life, love, adoration and kind of a cynic to be so young. Right from the beginning its full of action! I love the dynamics between Deke and Zig they are the coolest people that I like I’ve read from the author to date.

Lang is a freaking sweetheart in his own way! I think Rhys Ford did a good job with combining the two mc’s past histories together. This wasn’t her usual buildup of love between two guys. Dare to say it, but I totally got the insta-love feeling without the cheesiness that goes with it. I kind of see them as a love as first sight kind of thing. I mean the descriptions about one another were so endearing, and sweet. This is definitely a favorite of mine, and I cannot wait until the next in the series. This is the perfect family that Rhys Ford throws together!

Cover Art by Reece Notley:This might be my favorite cover from this artist. They are teasing us by not showing Deacon’s entire face, but everything else that is important to his person is there. Loved the color schemes for the cover. The motorcycle definitely rocks.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Fish Stick Fridays
ISBN 1623809487 (ISBN13: 9781623809485)
edition language English

A BJ Review: Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities (Claimings #2) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Assimilation, Love and Other Human Oddities coverOndry and Liam have settled into a good life, but their trading is still tied up with humans, and humans are always messy. When political changes at the human base lead Ondry to attempt a difficult trade, the pair find themselves entangled in human affairs. Liam wants to help the people he left and the worlds being torn apart. He also wants to serve Ondry with not only the pleasures of the nest but also by bringing human profits.

Ondry has no hope of understanding human psychology in general, he only knows that he will hold onto his palteia with the last breath in his body, and he’d like to keep his status and his wealth too. Unfortunately, new humans bring new conflicts and he is not sure how to protect Liam. He does know one thing that humans seem to constantly forget—that the peaceful Rownt are predators and when their families are threatened, Rownt become deadly killers. Liam is his family, and Ondry will protect him with his last breath… assuming that he can recognize the dangers in time to do so.

I adored book one of this series which means I had very high expectations. While I didn’t quite love this as much as my five starred book one*, I did thoroughly enjoy it.  This series rocks.

The world created for us by the author is simply amazing, I already thought that in book one but it gets even more complex and nuances in book two! I hardly thought that possible. The writing itself is superb. And Liam and Ondry some of the most memorable characters I’ve read recently. I adore reading of how they care for each other so very deeply despite huge differences both physically and culturally. How their love deepens and grows roots… shows so beautifully how love can overcome obstacles.

So why did I enjoyed the first in the series better than this second installment. I think it’s just personal preference because I truly dislike politics, strategy and war/mind games. So those parts read a little slow for me personally.

Don’t get me wrong though, the plot in this story is intricate and brilliantly executed. I adored the way we are shown how Liam adapts to his new homeworld and culture, and the way we see humanity in a light that at times made me favor the Rownt. The romance is there, it grows deeper and more trusting than in book one. But despite there being some D/s elements, neither kink nor sex is at the forefront in this book/series… which may explain why there is no longer a tail on the cover… perhaps the author wanted to avoid folks thinking of this as tentacle porn which it so very much is NOT. And I like the cover just as well without the tail.

I can hardly wait for the next book in this unique and highly recommended series.

Book Cover – see comments above.

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

Book Details:  

ebook, 225 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Loose-ID
original title Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities
ISBN13 9781623005870
edition language English

Coffee Sip and Book Break with Bitter Springs by Laura Stone (author and character interview, excerpt and contest)

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Bitter Springs by Laura Stone
Release Date: December 3, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Collen M. Good

Today we’re happy to be interviewing Laura Stone,  author of BITTER SPRINGS, here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book. I see you also brought along a character to interview. Welcome, Hank!

Oh my goodness, thanks for having me! I’m a single mother of three, and with the older two off to college, I have a bit more breathing room to write. BITTER SPRINGS is both my attempt to tackle a challenge—I’d never been invested in Western literature, honestly—and to write a love-letter to my home state, Texas. I’m a desert gal at heart, and nothing makes me happier than being out in the dry lonesome prairie or desert for days on end. It’s so fantastic.

And here is Hank to answer some questions as well:

Hank, what do you find attractive in a man?
How much print space can I have? Lord, but I love men. First and foremost, give me a kind man. I’m pretty tired of giving rude, hateful, arrogant men a pass by claiming they’re “complicated”. Nope, they’re self-absorbed. Take it from me, any younguns reading along: You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats an animal or someone who works for him. Family should mean something. Creatures in your care should be treated with respect. If a man can’t do that, then I don’t think he’s much of anything, especially a man. You didn’t hear this from me, but hair you can tug on is pretty nice, too.

The first thing that went through your head when you saw Renaldo?
“Well, that doesn’t look like the runt of the litter.”

Do you think you’ll insist the author visits you again?
I don’t believe too much on insisting, but I’ll just say she’s barely scratched the surface.

Before you met Renaldo, what was your ideal man?
A family man. One who wasn’t afraid of working hard and who could appreciate the value in it. A man who could understand when it was time to be quiet, and maybe when they needed to draw me out of my head a little. I like a man with a passion for living, one who understands how you can’t take anything for granted. Life’s too precious for that.

You’re going out for dinner. What’s your favorite food?
Not too many opportunities for eating beyond Vista Verde, so I better just say anything Señora Valle Santos is cooking. That woman can work magic. Pretty fortunate that she likes cooking for me, I suppose, because Lord know I like eating it.

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In 1870s Texas, Renaldo Valle Santos, the youngest son of a large and traditional family, has been sent to train with Henry “Hank” Burnett, a freed slave and talented mesteñero—or horse- catcher—so he may continue the family horse trade. Bitter Springs is a sweeping epic that takes themes from traditional Mexican literature and Old Westerns to tell the story of a man coming into his own and realizing his destiny lies in the wild open spaces with the man who loves him, far from expectations of society.

 

Pages or Words: 302 pages
Categories: Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Romance, Western/Cowboy

Excerpt

The day before the wedding, a visitor arrived at Vista Verde an entire week early. Renaldo, ready to wash up and eat dinner after a long, hard day—his side ached from roping cattle as a part of Paloma’s training, his hands were full of bits of raw hemp from the stock lassos, and one of the calves had kicked him high on the thigh—walked back from the barn using his hat to slap at the dust on his chest and thighs. He noticed a tall, striking young black man standing at the door to their home speaking with their father. They didn’t see many black men this far from civilization—with the Civil War ending so recently, many were staying close to where they’d been forced to live, were heading far out west where there were more opportunities to make a new life or were going north seeking less hostile society. Who he could be?

He was about as tall as Renaldo, maybe an inch or two more, broad-shouldered and whip-thin, dressed in well-worn, simple clothes. He had a close-cropped beard, but instead of hiding the shape of his jaw, it accented its sharpness. His light eyes, almost luminescent even at this distance and glowing like amber, were ringed with thick lashes, nearly to the point of being girlish, but there was nothing feminine about the man. With his lean but strong-looking chest, muscular arms and curved backside, he managed to carry himself with a confident air while standing idly; his body was still, but in a way that made Renaldo think of a raptor sitting on an abutment, watching and waiting.

“Oh, here he is,” Estebán said, motioning for Renaldo to join them, saying, “Señor Burnett, allow me to introduce to you my son, Renaldo.”

This? This was the legendary mesteñero, Henry Burnett? He couldn’t be much older than Renaldo, who realized his jaw had dropped. He closed his mouth quickly and moved toward them as if drawn like metal shavings to a magnet.

Burnett, however, looked amused, as the edge of his mouth quirked up. “Pleased to meet you,” he said, his voice deep and husky.

Renaldo couldn’t look away, shocked that his expectations couldn’t have been more wrong. This was a vibrant young man. But… this was the man he would be alone with on the prairie for months? His stomach twisted at that thought, and at how unexpected it all was, causing his heart to race and face flush. Yes, it was unexpected. That Burnett had come so much sooner than they’d expected had to be why Renaldo couldn’t find his voice and felt so upended.

Mijo,” his father said sharply.

Renaldo shook himself slightly, and then nodded, saying, “Señor Burnett, it’s very good to meet you, finally. Please forgive my shock, as I don’t believe we expected you so soon.”

Burnett laughed, a rolling, melodious sound, and replied, “Well, then just imagine my shock when I come here all the way from Nacogdoches expecting one Valle man, only to find him gone and you in his place.” He smiled. “Your padre seems to think you’re a better match, so that works for me.”

That smile, bright teeth framed by full lips, eyes crinkled at the corners, helped lessen some of Renaldo’s shock and, if he was being honest, some of the worry that he carried about spending a lot of time with a hard, taciturn man Renaldo knew he would be unable to please. At the realization that this was who he would be with on the plains, just the two of them with no one else for weeks on end, Renaldo became excited, finally looking forward to this task. A young man with an infectious grin wouldn’t be such a chore to be stuck with after all.

Buy the book:

Meet the author:

Laura Stone is a born and bred Texan, but don’t hold that against her. She’s a former comedian, actress and Master Gardener, and currently keeps busy as a media blogger, ghostwriter and novelist when not busy raising her three children. They’re not fully raised, but then, neither is she.

She lives in Texas as proof that it’s not completely populated by hard-line right-wingers. And because that’s where the good tamales are. Her first novel, The Bones of You, was published by Interlude Press in 2014 and was named a finalist for two Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award. Laura Stone at Laura-Stone.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/9LauraStone

Where to find the author:

Facebook: facebook.com/9LauraStone

Twitter: @stoneyboboney

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Tour Dates & Stops:

3-Dec: MM Good Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, It’s Raining Men, Hearts on Fire

4-Dec: Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Gay Book Reviews, Divine Magazine

7-Dec: Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Unquietly Me, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Bayou Book Junkie

8-Dec: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, My Fiction Nook

9-Dec: Elin Gregory, TTC Books and More

10-Dec: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Michael Mandrake, Love Bytes

11-Dec: Inked Rainbow Reads, Jessie G. Books

14-Dec: Dawn’s Reading Nook, QUEERcentric Books, Happily Ever Chapter

15-Dec: Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Emotion in Motion

16-Dec: BFD Book Blog, Prism Book Alliance

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, First Prize: One of five e-copies of ‘Bitter Springs’.  Must be 18 years of age or older.   Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Holiday Cheer Continues with Meg Bawden ‘My Secret Billionaire Santa’ (excerpt and giveaway

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Secret Santa

My Secret Santa Billionaire by Meg Bawden
Release Date: December 3, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Rawmance Publishing
Cover Artist: Bawd Designs

Blurb

Beckett Henry doesn’t believe in giving or receiving Christmas presents. Growing up in a poor family, he’s had to see the guilt on his parents faces every year when they couldn’t provide him and his brother the fancy toys the other kids received. Not to mention the teasing from the other kids every January. The only bright spot of the holidays was when Asher Holden visited them and they all played together without any toys.

Asher is his brother’s best friend and they’d all grown up in the same neighborhood. He’s had a crush on the other man since puberty, but he’s never had the guts to say or do anything about it. Now, Asher is the owner and CEO of Holden Marketing, the company Beckett works for, and a relationship between them will never happen. Not only have they been friends for too many years, but there is a strict company policy against inter-office dating. He couldn’t imagine what they’d say if their CEO dated the creative manager’s P.A.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, Beckett is getting ready to get the following weeks over and done with when he gets a surprise—a Secret Santa present arrives on his doorstep! As more presents start to arrive, Beckett struggles to figure out who could be sending them, or what to do with them.

Will Beckett be ready when his Secret Santa is unveiled?

 

Pages or Words: 21,259 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance

Excerpt

Asher stood at over six feet tall and had broad shoulders. His Armani suit strained across his wide chest and his white dress shirt stretched over bulging muscles. His legs seemed to go on forever, his feet large, like the rest of him, were encased in expensive black dress shoes. A short, neat beard covered his sharp jaw, his dark hair long enough to curl over his collar. But like the rest of his appearance, it was tidy. His eyes gave me butterflies though. They were green and deep, and right at this moment, they were searching my own eyes.

Shock coursed through me and, moving on instinct, I slouched back down, feeling my cheeks heat at being caught checking him out.

“No, you can’t help me,” Asher said to Louise, his tone suggesting amusement.

I heard footsteps and then felt a breath on the top of my head. Willing away my blush, I tilted my head backward and stared into those profound jade eyes.

“Hi, Beck.” Asher smiled at me, and I’m pretty sure I began melting.

I swallowed, trying to find words. “Hi, Ash.”

Buy the book: 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | ARe

 

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Meet the Author:

Meg Bawden was born and raised in North Queensland, Australia. She’s loved stories since before she can remember and has always enjoyed creating characters of her own, even if it did begin with drawing faces on toilet rolls and giving them names. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she’s loved the M/M genre since 2004, the first book she read being Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez.

Writing M/M since 2007, Meg has never had the confidence to attempt publishing her own stories, but in 2015, she decided that it was all about to change thanks to the amazing friends she’s made in the M/M genre and their support and encouragement. So watch out, world, Meg Bawden is coming out to have some fun!

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

3 Chicks After Dark, Alpha Book Club, Andrew Q. Gordon, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Book Lovers 4Ever, Chris McHart, Divine Magazine, Happily Ever Chapter, Havan Fellows, Inked Rainbow Reads, Jessie G. Books, Mikky’s World of Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Nic Starr, Open Skye Book Reviews, Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘My Secret Santa Billionaire’ by Meg Bawden.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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