A MelanieM Review: Dirty Laundry (Cole McGinnis #3) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Dirty LaundryFor ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole’s closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems—most notably, a mysterious half brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms.

As if his own personal dramas weren’t enough, Cole is approached by Madame Sun, a fortune-teller whose clients have been dying at an alarming rate. Convinced someone is after her customers, she wants the matter investigated, but the police think she’s imagining things. Hoping to put Sun’s mind at ease, Cole takes the case and finds himself plunged into a Gordian knot of lies and betrayal where no one is who they are supposed to be and Death seems to be the only card in Madame Sun’s deck.

I HATE little girls.

Hands down, they are secret vessels of Satan and probably rule their own special circle of hell reserved for people who abandon dogs by the side of the road and assholes who molest innocent children.

So starts Dirty Laundry, a shocking, raw, sexy and yes, murderous addition to the Cole McGinnis series.  I think its the best to date and that is saying plenty in a series that is compiled of little known Korean society in America, thugs and the criminals of San Diego, and the weird, wonderful, and often sad family dynamics of the mixed race McGinnis family, their lovers and spouses.  Throw in the police department and their officers for good or bad and local politicians and I’m not sure there is a layer left unused or a element not grabbed for when Rhys Ford is creating a story.  And somehow it all works.  Even the many, sometimes confusing, Korean family names which are alike by design (something I learned through this series).

Dirty Laundry lets in some light on Kim Jae-Min’s sad, little family dynamics by introducing his sister, and giving us a closer look at his mother.  It is so hard for us standing outside of this culture to understand why Jae is fighting so hard to hold on to people who, quite frankly hate him.  I ‘m not sure we can ever get into their mindset but Rhys Ford brings us close in this book.  Its a tortuous concept but the need for place within that culture is so strong that it climbs out of the pages.  And it drives the story.  And the murders.

I loved the fortune teller element here.  It allowed Ford to introduce so many different levels of Korean society and characters, all fascinating, some lovable, some not. But each and every person within this story comes across as a believable, breathing human being.  No matter how brief their appearance, we care about them, and make no mistake, many here are killed and often after we have just come to like them.  I couldn’t believe how sad I felt over the loss of  some of them.  Excellent writing will do that.

Jae and Cole’s relationship continues its dance towards commitment and love.  Intricate movements, sexy and dark.  Its hot to read and still so full of pain and angst too.  Like everything else in this series, they are complicated and shaky.

Cole’s half Japanese brother appears and I have fallen in love.  What a great new character.  We need more of him and that scares me for his future.

Why?

Because of the ending.  That traumatic, scary “I  did not see that coming” ending.  Thank goodness for that Epilogue.

Now I am running for the next book and then the next.  As with all  of Rhys Ford’s writings, I am one more seriously addicted fan. Grab up this series in the order they were written and become one too. Honestly, I could write a book about these books.

Cover art by Reese Notley.  I like these covers from the models to the color tones.  Great job.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages, also in Audiobook and paperback
Published April 18th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleDirty Laundry
ISBN 1623806321 (ISBN13: 9781623806323)
edition languageEnglish
seriesCole McGinnis #3

A Barb, the Zany Old Lady Advent Story Review: Holiday Hotel Hookup by Jeff Adams

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryWhen IT consultant, Marty, checks in at the hotel in Dallas where he’ll be spending a working vacation over the holidays, little does he know that one of the benefits actually greets him at the front desk.  Checking his phone before bed that night, he’s intrigued by a few local offers from Manhunt, a hook-up app he’s downloaded to his phone. One turns out to be the gorgeous man who checked him in, the hotel’s assistant manager, Jose, aka JJ.

Though they don’t get to hookup that night, they do get together the next night and discover they have a lot in common.  They end up spending more time together, including a gaming marathon with Marty’s friends on Christmas Day, during which JJ does some distracting and erotic things to Marty while he’s trying to play.

The author has created two very loveable characters who fit well together, and I enjoyed the witty banter and fun-loving escapades in and out of the bedroom.  The story ends with a hope for a bright future as these two career-oriented men face the realities of continuing a relationship and decide it’s worth the try.  I would love to see this story developed into a novel.  The characters were great and the possibilities endless.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 38 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769617
edition languageEnglish
seriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar

A Stella Review: Prickly By Nature (Portland Pack Chronicles #2) by Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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RATING 4 stars out of 5

Prickly by Nature 2In the four months since hedgehog shifter Avery Babineaux started investigating the disappearance of a young female werewolf from the Portland Pack, he’s discovered his life’s passion. Now he’s apprenticing under established PI Corbin Reid. Avery hopes his training with Reid will help him finally bring Lacey home, but detective work isn’t without its perils, and the potential dangers strain his relationship with his new mate, Dylan.

Dylan Green would be perfectly content with his mating and his motorcycle shop if it wasn’t for his constant worry about Avery’s safety and the fact that Avery’s never home. Proud as he might be of Avery’s determination to prove his worth and fulfill his promise to Lacey’s father, Dylan can’t stand the thought of Avery being hurt. Yet what right does he have to demand Avery give up his job when it’s clear Avery’s found his true purpose? Still, Dylan wishes he could, and the appearance of a new police detective who sets his sights on Avery only adds to the tension.

Something has to give, but stubbornness runs in both their veins, and it might take a catastrophe for them to find a compromise they can live with.

Pickly by Nature is the second book in the Portland Pack Chronicles series by Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade. As I already mentioned in the review of the first book, Prickly Business,  I love that this series is not the typical Piper’s work.  I’m not very familiar with Kenzie writing yet, but I don’t miss a story by Piper and the mystery is a new theme and so welcomed.

We meet Dylan and Avery again months after the ending of Prickly Business, that left a lot unexplored. Avery is more frustrated than ever in his researches about the human trafficing people who took away the young Lacey. He has joined a PI, Reid, to learn the job and get his investigator’s license. His relationship with Dylan is solid because they are mates but these struggles are hard to take to both for them and it’s pulling down their life together.

I couldn’t have enough of the MCs, I laugh a lot at Dylan protectiveness, almost scary but considering the mating bond it can be overcome. Avery is the same adorable guy, loyal and strong in his researches, he is frustrated because he’s pretty much going nowhere.

What I particularly like in this series is the great cast of characters, the books are not focused only on our MC’s couple but there are a lot of friends and family around them,  interesting and with great personalities, for what I saw so far. I like the choice of the kind of shifters with Sven being a reindeer, Reid a hawk and of course Avery himself a hedgehog.

There is a lot of potential for the next coming books. A lot of characters need to have their own stories. The next book will be about Jayden and his mate (I can’t tell you who he is but I can’t wait to read their story).

About the writing, I’m always dubious and curious about co authored stories, but these two girls work amazing together, even knowing which character each of them wrote, it was impossible to see a difference (in the writing style) in the POVs. They were really well done.

As I said I loved this book, but there were a couple of things I want to talk a little. First of all I felt too much angst through all the story and it brought me down and didn’t let me fully enjoy it. Then I don’t like more than two (the MCs’ ones) POVs. I would have preferred to not have a third one, maybe it could have been told in a different way, maybe not. My “issue” was that Prickly Business was a great surprise, probably a little too much to be overcome. This time I already know where this second installment would have gone and that the mystery would have been solved exactly how I was hoping. That’s why I wasn’t able to give Prickly by Nature more than 4 stars, cause it was really good, I’m not saying the contrary, but being a series, and most of all both books have the same couple, it was inevitable that I would make a comparison.

I want to highly recommend the whole series.

The cover art by Reese Dante is  clearly well done and fitting. The only remark I want to make is that I would have preferred something not so similar to the cover of Prickly Business.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages
Published November 16th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titlePrickly By Nature
ISBN 1623801613 (ISBN13: 9781623801618)
edition languageEnglish
series Portland Pack Chronicles #2

settingPortland, Oregon (United States)

Our Series Focus is On Chris T. Kat’s ‘Against All Odds’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Against All Odds ( Odds Are #2) by Chris T. Kat
Release Date: December 9, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

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Blurb

And then they lived happily ever after…

Sometimes Joshua Stone thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. How else can he explain Michael’s love for him? And now they’re living together… in a real relationship. This is the stuff of fairy tales, a love like other people take for granted.

Sure, they have their moments, what couple doesn’t? But a small doubt lingers in Joshua’s heart. Can this really be true? Can a gorgeous man like Michael really love someone like Joshua—the guy with cerebral palsy, who’s helpless without his walker or his tricycle to get him around?

Michael senses Joshua’s worries, but there’s nothing he can do to dispel them because that would mean revealing his secret—and he’s not ready for that. Their mutual secrets hang between them like time bombs waiting to explode. They might not survive the inevitable blast.

 

Pages or Words: 125 pages
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

From Chapter One:

“I’m awake! I’m awake, really!” Joshua panted.

“Really? I don’t want to take advantage of you, you know.”

“Michael! Excuse me for being tired. I keep going to bed later than I should because someone… namely you”—Joshua poked a finger into Michael’s chest—“works overtime all freaking week, and when said someone comes home, he still expects me to spend time with him.”

A guilty feeling settled in the pit of Michael’s gut. He inspected Joshua’s face more thoroughly, difficult as it was with only a small sliver of moonlight illuminating their bedroom, and noticed blue smudges under his eyes that hadn’t been there weeks ago. Furrowing his brows, Michael slid his gaze over Joshua’s face. Joshua had always been slim—too slim in Michael’s opinion, but that was a sore topic with Joshua—but now his cheeks were hollowed, accentuating his sharp cheekbones even more.

“Michael, do not freak out on me now, okay? It’s all fine.”

“You can go to bed if you’re tired; you don’t need to wait for me.” Michael tried not to wince when he mentally added, especially not on Tuesdays and Thursdays because on those days, I’ll always be late.

“Then we’d most likely only see each other on the weekends.” Joshua pressed a kiss to Michael’s lips, licking along the seam and demanding entrance. Joshua’s boldness had only developed recently, but wow, what a total turn-on it was for Michael.

Michael opened his mouth for Joshua’s exploration, quashing the urge to apologize to Joshua—again. It wasn’t his fault he currently had to drive up to Philadelphia each day for work, and he certainly couldn’t afford to say no to this job.

He’d finally managed to score a real job with some benefits. A couple more months and they could look for a new car… one Joshua could climb into on his own.

Joshua unlocked their lips, sighing. “I… I don’t think I can… I mean….”

Michael tilted his head, still reeling from the intense sensations Joshua’s tongue had evoked. Joshua’s left hand flopped next to his side and his right hand moved restlessly. Smiling, he said, “Bad muscle control?”

Joshua seemed to force his gaze up before he nodded. Michael captured his lips in a searing kiss. “Can I ride you?”

Buy the book:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance

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Meet the Author

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

 

Where to find the author:

 

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Divine Magazine, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Gay Media Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Jessie G. Books, Kimi-Chan, The Hat Party, Mikky’s World of Books, Happily Ever Chapter, The Day Before You Came, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Hearts on Fire, Book Lovers 4Ever, The Jena Wade, Unquietly Me, 3 Chicks After Dark, V’s Reads, Velvet Panic, Iyana Jenna, Inked Rainbow Reads, Andrew Q. Gordon, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

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Cover Reveal for Lane Hayes ‘A Kind of Truth’ (cover reveal and giveaway)

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A Kind of Truth ( A Kind Of #1) by Lane Hayes
Release Date: January 8, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Blurb

Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, which include he keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

 

Pages or Words: 82,000 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance..

 

 

Buy the book:

 Dreamspinner eBook and Dreamspinner Paperback


Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, The Hat Party, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue, Words, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, A.M. Leibowitz, Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Open Skye Book Reviews, Louise Lyons, Happily Ever Chapter, Unquietly Me, MM Good Book Reviews, Alpha Book Club, KathyMac Reviews, Gay Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Carly’s Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Velvet Panic, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, The Novel Approach

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 gift card from retailer of choice.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotion.
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