A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Sinful Santa (End Street Detective Agency #4) by Amber Kell and R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Case of the Sinful Santa Zephariel, the Angel of Vengeance, Nick Klauson, nephew to Santa, Christmas magic, zombies in the school and a necromancer causing chaos…and at the center of it all—Mal.

Zephariel is the Angel of Vengeance and is tracking down his cousin Danjal for misuse of brimstone. When he walks into a bar and finds Nick Klauson drowning his sorrows, he is instantly drawn to him. Could this be his fated mate?

When Nick and Zeph join forces to deal with zombies in Mal’s school, sparks fly. Add in a demon, a wolf and a necromancer, and Sam and Bob have a hunt on their hands.

When I started reading this story, I had three books of the series in my possession and somehow I must have thought (I mark it up to holiday stress) that this was the first.  Uh, no.  Of course, I jump into the series at book four and once I started, I couldn’t stop. Why? Because if the rest of the stories are anything like this one, then Amber Kell and RJ Scott have an engaging cast of characters and an apparently intriguing linked group of mysteries at the heart of the End Street Detective Agency.

The Case of the Sinful Santa comes to the End Street Detective Agency,run by Sam, a man who refuses to accept his clearly paranormal genealogy and the many endearing, scary and wild beings that revolve around him, including his vampire lover, Bob.  One of the things about coming into a series so late is that so many things are already established.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing here. Sam and Bob are an official couple (not so in the beginning of the series) and have a vampire child, Mal (will backtrack to that story).  This tale starts out with the focus on Zephariel (angel) and Nick Klauson, one of the many Klausons,  Santa Claus is his Uncle and he is part of the family business.

Amber Kell and RJ Scott come up with an intriguing job for Nick that sort of makes sense, in a fantasy kind of way. Nick is in town because of a darkness that Santa noticed along his flight plan. Nick is there to take care of it. But there’s more to come. Up pops a ghastly disappearance/murder mystery to solve that brings not only Zeph and Nick together but the rest of the End Street Detectives into the case. I thought there was a nice balance between the fear/mystery and the love/romance going on here.  Plus its not just the romance between Zeph and Nick but the ongoing issues that continue between Sam and Bob.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and characters, Zeph and Nick get their HFN which means we will probably see them again in this series and we get a peek at the next book to come…dragons my favorite.  Only now I need to  go backwards and see where it all started.  Stay with me, I’ll be filling you in.  Until then, if you are a lover of the supernatural or the paranormal, throw in a mystery or romance or two, this has the making of a series to delight you on every front.  I know its doing that for me.

 

Cover art by Posh Gosh. I love the cover.  It works mostly for Zeph.  Nick is missing the frosty white hair and white complexion so that is a fail.

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

Book Details:

Book Four in the End Street Detective Agency series

ebook, 1st Edition, 94 pages
Published November 29th 2013 by Totally Bound (first published November 28th 2013)
Original TitleThe Case of the Sinful Santa: End Street Detective Agency Series
ISBN 1781848548 (ISBN13: 9781781848548)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesEnd Street Detective Agency 

 

A Free Dreamer Review: Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner #2) by Lynn Flewelling

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

Stalking DarknessWith the Leran threat laid to rest, Alec and Seregil are now able to turn their attention to the ancient evil which threatens their land. The Plenimarans, at war with Skalans, have decided to defeat their ancient enemy by raising up the Dead God, Seriamaius. The early attempts at this reincarnation—masterminded by the sinister Duke Mardus and his sorcerous minion Vargul Ashnazai—once left Seregil in a sorcerous coma. Now, an ancient prophecy points to his continuing role in the quest to stop Mardus in his dread purpose.

Seregil’s friend and Mentor, the wizard Nysander, has long been the guardian of a deadly secret. In a secret, silver-lined room hidden well beneath the Oreska, he has served for most of his 300 years as the keeper of a nondescript clay cup. But this cup, combined with a crystal crown and some wooden disks, forms the Helm of Seriamaius, and any mortal donning the reconstructed Helm will become the incarnation of the god on earth.

Nysander holds the cup and Mardus the wooden disks—one of which was responsible for Seregil’s coma—but the crown must still be located. Threatened under pain of death by Nysander to keep his quest a secret even from his loyal companion, Alec, Seregil is dispatched to find the last missing piece of the Helm so that he and Nysander can destroy it. But this is only the beginning of one of his deadliest journeys ever, for the prophecy also holds that four will come together in a time of darkness, and gradually all that Seregil values is placed at risk as he, Alec, Nysander and Micum are drawn into a deadly web of terror and intrigue.

After absolutely loving part one of this series, I of course had high expectations for this book, too. And I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. This might even have been a tad better than part one.

I read part one a while ago, so I did have some trouble with all the names in the beginning. It’s probably best to not take too big breaks between the individual parts. This way you won’t have so much trouble remembering names and events of the previous book(s).

At times, this did get actually rather gory. It fit the plot and it wasn’t overdone, but if that’s not your thing, be careful.

I continued to fall in love with Alec and Seregil. They really grew and changed throughout this book, especially Alec. His life has changed so much in such a short time and it really affected his development.

All main characters really grew on me and my heart went out to them whenever they were faced with difficulties. It was easy to relate to their feelings and they felt very realistic to me.

I loved that the author introduced a new main character with Micum’s daughter Beka. Her pov was really interesting.

The plot was absolutely amazing. So very addictive. I often found myself reading till the early morning hours, because I just couldn’t stop. There was so much going on, but it never got confusing. The ending just about broke my heart. It was so completely unexpected, I could only gape in horror for a few minutes.

There’s a bit more romance here than in part one, but only in the second half and still very low-key. But the little bit that was there was absolutely wonderful.

Once again, the world building was very impressive. Lots of descriptions about religious and cultural rites made it very easy to really feel at home in the world the author created.

Overall, I just absolutely loved “Stalking Darkness” and I’m delighted I already own part three. I absolutely can’t wait to find out what adventures Alec and Seregil will face next.

This is a series for all those fantasy lovers out there, who are craving awesome world building with a hint of gay romance.

The cover by Gary Ruddell shows a scene toward the end of the book. Just like the first cover, it definitely fits the story. Well done.

Buy the Book Here:  Amazon Paperback |  Kindle

Book details:

Paperback, 501 pages, first published 1997 by Bantam Spectra

Kindle Edition, Reissue, 513 pages
Published November 17th 2010 by Spectra (first published February 3rd 1997)
Original TitleStalking Darkness
ASINB004AM5R4S
Edition Language English

Series: Part 2 of the Nightrunner series

In the Book Spotlight: ‘Curse of Salar’ by Alexis Duran‏ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Curse of Salar (Masters and Mages #3) by Alexis Duran
Release Date: January 5, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Blurb

In the kingdom of Jahar, the rule of mages has been overthrown. Prince Dezra Luzan is held prisoners in the ancestral palace. In order to stay alive, he pretends to be a drug-addicted wastrel, trusting no one, not even his lovers.

Into his lonely existence comes a man who should be his sworn enemy; Captain Rayn Nevar. Dezra is irresistibly drawn to the rough soldier and his longing for a simple sexual encounter quickly builds into a dangerous obsession.

Captain Rayn Nevar knows he should stay away from Prince Dezra, but his desire for the beautiful young man overrides all common sense. Rayn soon finds himself protecting the prince from a plot to destroy the last of the mages.

When treachery leads to Dezra’s escape, he is at last free to unlock his long repressed powers. Only the arrival of a mysterious monk with powers greater than Dezra’s stops the prince from using sorcery to destroy all who stand in his way, including Rayn.

As Jahar edges toward another war between masters and mages, Rayn must question his devotion to his increasingly deadly lover while Dezra must decide if ultimate power is worth the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Pages or Words: 82,000 words
Book can be read as a standalone
Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

Excerpt

“Kneel.”

“What?” Dezra asked, incredulous.

“You heard me.”

Nevar stripped off his silk shirt and tossed it aside. The sight of his finely sculpted chest arrested the biting retorts that leaped to Dezra’s tongue. The captain’s skin was smooth and slicked with sweat. A fine trail of curly black hair began at his sternum and disappeared beneath the line of his belt.

Dezra forced his gaze up to discover to Nevar smirking at him. Before Nevar could summon an insult to put the captain in his place, Nevar sat on the bed.

“Help me with my boots. Or is that beneath you, Prince?”

Nevar leaned back with his arms behind him, weight resting on his palms. He stuck one foot out. The languid expanse of his body beckoned.

Buy the book: Loose id LLC

 

 

Meet the Author

Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, fashion, finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was inventorying the collection in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night erotic m/m fantasy series. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is currently working on the next Edge of Night novel and several other erotic novellas.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Full Moon Dreaming, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Book Lovers 4Ever, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Divine Magazine, Jessie G. Books, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Inked Rainbow Reads, A.M. Leibowitz, Alpha Book Club, Andrew Q. Gordon, My Fiction Nook, Velvet Panic, Charley Descoteaux

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: eBook copy of first two books in the Masters and Mages series, Touch of Salar and Blood of Salar.  Must be  18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Book HIghlight: When I’m Weak (Mile High Romance #2) by Aria Grace (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: When I’m Weak
Series: Mile High Romance #2
Author: Aria Grace
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2015 
Jamie presents a flamboyant and slutty attitude to the world because he’s been hurt before. Even though it’s mostly an act, he hides behind his persona to keep people at arm’s length. With only a small group of trusted friends, he’s vowed to never allow a man to have power over him again. Power to hurt him. Power to take away his freedom. Power to label him as a predator for the rest of his life.
Reed and his sister run a home preschool for toddlers. His focus is on getting credentialed so he can take some of the burden from Abby. He doesn’t have time for friends, much less a lover, but when he meets Jamie, he recognizes something in the man that makes him want to get closer. 
Unfortunately, Jamie’s past prevents him from truly integrating into Reed’s future. It’s not just a matter of the heart. It’s a matter of the law.
The Unicorn is packed for a Wednesday night. Lots of new faces blend in with the regulars and I’ve been running nonstop since I got here three hours ago.
“Hey, hot stuff.” Ross, a big meathead that comes in practically every night, is reaching for my wrist as I pass by him. “Bring that sweet ass of yours over here, would you?”
“Just a minute, sugar. I’ll be right back.”
After dropping off the drinks at table seven, I head to a two top in the back corner where a new guy is sitting with a book. I don’t see many people reading books in here. In fact, I think this is a first.
His light yellow polo shirt and baggy jeans aren’t the norm either, but he probably didn’t come here for fashion advice. Like everyone else in this bar, he’s here for a drink and I’m here to serve him.
“Hey there. Can I help you?” I use my mellow voice. I have many voices when I’m at work. The high-pitched whine. The sexy drawl. The bitchy diva. Throughout the course of the night, I’ll work them all in with each of my different customers. Everybody wants something different out of me. And if I want decent tips, I have to give them what they need.
But this guy doesn’t seem like he’s looking for any of that. He’s not looking for entertainment. At least, it doesn’t seem like it. Sadly.
His eyes quickly scan my leather hot pants and pink mesh tank top. This is practically my work uniform.
“Yeah, can I just get a Coors light?”
I’m tempted to ask if he’s in the right place, but I hold back. “Sure thing, honey. Are you gonna be ordering any food?”
Looking up at the bar, he’s probably surprised that we even offer food. Truth is, the stuff we serve can barely be classified as edible, so he should consider himself lucky when he shakes his head and turns back to his book.
Okay. Not one for small talk. No problem. I turn around and slink over to Ross, leaning against the table so I’m facing him. “Hello, sweet thing. What can Jamie get for you?” His hand wraps around my thigh and slides up until his fingers are playing at the swell of my ass. I smile tightly and try to scoot away but his strong grip keeps me in place. 
“Ross…” I try to keep my tone light while letting him know this isn’t okay.
“I love how you say my name, baby.” His fingertip presses against my hole as he looks at me. “For now, I’ll take another long island iced tea. But when you get your next break, I’ll take this,” he says as his finger rubs my pucker.
“You know I can’t do that, sweetie, but I’ll get your drink back here in two shakes.”
I give my ass a couple shakes as I walk away to punctuate my point. Ross is always flirty, especially when he’s drinking tequila, but this is the first time he’s been so physical. Usually it’s just words and rough smacks, but the fucker almost penetrated this time. I glance over at Billy, the manager. He’s watching me, so I know he saw what happened. As soon as I place the new orders with Trixie, I walk over to him.
“Can you keep an eye on Ross?”
He nods. “You okay?”
“I’m okay, but he’s getting a little more handsy than usual. I think he might… Well, just keep an eye on him.” Billy nods and his narrowed eyes shoot straight to Ross.
Ross isn’t even paying attention to me. The group of guys he’s with are all laughing about something when I bring his drink back a few minutes later. Ross tries to pull me into his lap, but this time I know better and twist out of his grip. “You know the rules,” I say as sweetly as I can. I still need his tips.
“What time do you get off tonight?” He isn’t slurring his words yet, but he’ll be there after this next drink. God, I hate drunks. Really hate drunks. That’s why I work here. Keeps me from getting too close to anyone.
“Really late.” I take a step back, trying to seem disappointed. “And I know you need to get on home. But don’t you worry, I’m sure you’ll find somebody in here who can take care of you much better than I can.”
Ross lunges forward and grabs my thigh, pulling me closer to him. I almost fall trying to support the tray in my hand, but manage to keep it steady. Without even having to look for him, Billy is standing over me. His huge hand is wrapped around Ross’s wrist.
“Let the fuck go and I won’t have to hurt you.” Billy is built like a tank. An old school biker bear with the leather and chains and all. He’s my height, about 5’ 10”, but he’s 220 pounds of solid muscle.
Ross doesn’t let go immediately, but after a stare down with Billy, he slowly releases his grip and spreads his fingers wide. I slip away and head straight to table nineteen to drop off their beers.
When I approach the cutie with a book, his eyes are wide. I frown, knowing that he saw everything. “Here you go, honey.” I bust out my perky voice, dropping the beer in front of him. “I’ll be back to check on you in a few minutes to see if you need a refill or if you change your mind about food.”
“Hey,” he says quietly as I turn to leave.
I stop and look back at him. “Yeah?”
“Are you okay?” He seems genuinely concerned. Seeing an emotion other than lust or superiority in someone’s eyes is new. For a minute, I don’t even know what he’s talking about. Then I realize he’s referring to Ross.
“Oh, that? Yeah. That happens all the time.” I shrug. “Comes with the job.”
“They allow that here?” he asks, glancing at Billy. I follow his gaze and watch as Billy none-too-gently escorts Ross out of the bar.
“Nope.” I nod my head toward the exit. “Billy took care of it.”
“Wow. That must suck.”
“It’s fine. Sometimes guys are assholes, but you just got to deal with it. Right?”
“I guess.” He shakes his head and turns back to his book. I leave him to read as I work the room, picking up empties and taking refill orders. When I make my way back to him twenty minutes later, he’s still sipping that same beer.
“So is this more relaxing than a library?” I tease, watching him try to concentrate on the book in his hands. Kneeling down on the other side of the table, I read the cover out loud. “Child Development in a Plugged In World. Sounds deep.”
He looks embarrassed as his hand brushes the cover like he’s trying to hide the title.
Too late.  
“I’m taking a class,” he shoves a napkin between his pages and lays it face down on the table, “and I really needed a beer after the day I’ve had.”
I cock an eyebrow and smirk, clearly letting him know I’m not buying it.
“Well,” he further explains, “I don’t keep alcohol at home, so I figured I’d hang out here and have a beer. I’m used to a lot of noise, so the music and people in the background doesn’t bother me. It’s kind of comforting, actually.”
“Okay.” It’s not how I like to cuddle with a book, but whatever floats his boat. “Are you sure you don’t want another beer?”
He tips his bottle to see how much is left then shakes his head. “Thanks, but one is enough for me.”
“Alright then. Just holler if you change your mind.”
“Thanks.” He’s checking out my chest, probably looking for a name tag.
“Jamie,” I say, winking at him. “Just call for Jamie and I’ll be right there.”
“Alright. Thanks, Jamie.” His smile is almost shy as he peeks up at me from under his dark lashes. I want a better look at the brown eyes that seem to be avoiding mine, but I just tip my chin and walk away.

Born and raised in beautiful California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. Her career started out in tech writing and web development and has evolved into all things marketing with fingers in everything related to book publishing. 
She lives with her husband and two children and more pets than she can keep track of. Despite her crazy schedule, she loves the time she carves out to read and write. Whether it’s on the beach or on the couch at 2am, she is a woman obsessed!
She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at www.ariagracebooks.com.
If you’d like to know when Aria’s next book is coming out or where she’ll be signing, join her mailing list at: http://bit.ly/AriaGraceFanList

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Love Kink in Your Romance? 3 Books to Check out from Tricia Owens’s Sin City Series (excerpts and contest)

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Lessons in Obedience, Death Defying Acts, The Doms Club  by Tricia Owens
Series: Sin City (Book Numbers: 6, 7, and 8)
Release Date: January 1, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Tricia Owens
Cover Artist: Tricia Owens

Blurbs

Lessons in Obedience:

Max and Ethan have survived the Las Vegas Mafia, foreign hitmen and obsessive stalkers, and their relationship is beginning to show the strain. To refresh their roles as Dominant and submissive, Max books them a vacation at a gay resort in Greece. Beneath the hot Mediterranean sun Ethan will know pain and he will know pleasure and he will learn what true surrender means when Max fully wields his power. Numerous graphic sexual situations. BDSM.

Death Defying Acts:

Business responsibilities and the Poole family legacy are distractions while Max and Ethan, bodyguards for the rich and spoiled of Las Vegas, take on an assignment protecting an aerial acrobatic duo who is being harassed by what seems to be a homophobic stalker. Max knows how important professionalism is. He owns the business. But the stress of the job and his own inability to resist the submissive siren call that is Ethan causes him to lose control. With a potentially dangerous, hateful stalker on the loose, can he afford to let down his guard and allow Ethan to get too close? Numerous graphic sexual situations. BDSM.

The Doms Club:

Ethan has only a sketchy idea about his lover and boss’ childhood, so when an old friend from Max’s past arrives in Las Vegas, Ethan thinks it’s his chance to learn more about the man he loves. What he hasn’t counted on is this friend coming from a devious, highly sexual time during Max’s life when the two men were members of the Doms Club. The Doms Club sought out potential submissives and tested their limits. Now, Max’s friend wants to test Ethan’s. Ethan badly wants to prove that he is the perfect submissive for Max, but maybe this time he’s out of his league. Numerous graphic sexual situations. BDSM.

 

Pages or Words: 51k (Lessons in Obedience), 42k (Death Defying) 42k-45k (Doms Club)Books can be read as standalones

Books can be read as standalones
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

 

Excerpt for ‘Death Defying Acts’ by Tricia Owens‏

“I can see we’ve moved beyond the punishment phase,” Max commented in his silken voice.

Ethan couldn’t speak even if he wanted to. Moans and whimpers were the best he could do. His body felt like the chord of a harp. Each time Max spanked him with the paddle his body sang as if plucked.

He heard the paddle hitting the floor with a dull thud. Ethan continued to rock his hips, driving his cock into the towel protecting the sofa. He groaned when Max grabbed him firmly by the hips and forced him to stop. Then he cried out when Max dragged his clawed fingers up both buttocks, sharpening the pain.

“Oh, fuck, Max,” he cried out as he pushed back into Max’s fingernails. “Oh, please.”

Max chuckled warmly. “Hurts, does it? Or does it feel so good because it hurts?”

“Yes,” Ethan babbled. “Yes, yes, yes.”

Max pressed against him. He was still fully clothed, but his erection strained his pants. Ethan rolled his burning ass against that bulge in entreaty, but Max moved his hands away. Ethan opened his eyes to look at the television again, hoping to see what Max intended. Blackness descended over his vision. He gasped with excitement as Max tied the blindfold behind his head.

“You are going to feel everything that is being done to you,” Max told him in a low voice. “It is going to be overwhelming. It is going to be intense. You will question why you desire it and why you beg me for more. But you will desire it and you will beg for it because this is who you are. You are a delicious creature of pain and submission, Ethan. You are a creature of beauty who finds joy in surrendering to me and serving my demands.” His lips touched the back of his neck. “You will want to cum. You will ache and burn with the need to cum. If you cum, it will all end. Do you understand me?”

Ethan trembled, his senses narrowed to sound and touch. “I understand, Master.”

Buy the book:

Lessons: http://amzn.to/1P2xQLc

Death Defying: http://amzn.to/1P2xELL

RC

Meet the author:

Tricia has been writing m/m and ménage fiction since 2002. An avid traveler who has visited over 70 countries, she writes full-time in Las Vegas.

Where to find the author:

 

Tour Dates & Stops:

8-Jan: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, The Literary World of the Gifted Grammy, Alpha Book Club

11-Jan: Book Lovers 4Ever, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Love Bytes, Velvet Panic

12-Jan: MM Good Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

13-Jan: Unquietly Me

14-Jan: BFD Book Blog

15-Jan: Inked Rainbow Reads, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

18-Jan: The Novel Approach

19-Jan: Alpha Book Club

20-Jan: Kiki’s Kinky Picks

21-Jan: A.M. Leibowitz

22-Jan: Dawn’s Reading Nook

25-Jan: 3 Chicks After Dark

26-Jan: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter

27-Jan: The Hat Party

28-Jan: Bayou Book Junkie

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: PDF copy of ‘Lessons in Obedience’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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