A Free Dreamer Review: Line and Orbit (Root Code #1) by Sunny Moraine and Lisa Soem

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Line and OrbitWhat he’s been taught to fear could be his destiny…and his only hope.

Adam Yuga, a rising young star in the imperialist Terran Protectorate, is on the verge of a massive promotion…until a routine physical exam reveals something less than perfection. Genetic flaws are taboo, and Adam soon discovers there’s a thin line between rising star and starving outcast.

Stripped of wealth and position, stricken with a mysterious, worsening illness, Adam resorts to stealing credits to survive. Moments from capture by the Protectorate, help arrives in the form of Lochlan, a brash, cocksure Bideshi fighter.

Now the Bideshi, a people long shunned by the Protectorate, are the only ones who will offer him shelter. As Adam learns the truth about the mysterious, nomadic people he was taught to fear, Lochlan offers him not just shelter—but a temptation Adam can only resist for so long.

Struggling to adapt to his new life, Adam discovers his illness hides a terrible secret, one that the Protectorate will stop at nothing to conceal. Time is growing short, and he must find the strength to close a centuries-old rift, accept a new identity—and hold on to a love that could cost him everything.

 I’m always a sucker for some good sci-fi/fantasy and “Line and Orbit” definitely did not disappoint. It was funny, addicting, creative and unique.

Adam has it all: lots of money, a successful career, perfect health. That is, until he has to go through a health check for a promotion. The doctors find a small problem with his heart. Nothing life threatening, not in this day and age, but anything other than perfection is simply unacceptable and Adam suddenly finds himself without job, money and a rapidly deteriorating health. With his last bit of money he buys an old spaceship and leaves his home.

Lochlan hates the very thing Adam stands for, but when Adam literally falls in his arms, half dead and on the run, he saves the man’s life and takes him to the Bideshi homeship.

I absolutely loved the idea of the Bideshi. They’re space nomads, outsiders, exiles, outcasts and yet they have a rich history and a deep understanding of the stars, of their line and orbit. They’re magical. It’s not something I’ve ever encountered before and the authors did a wonderful job describing everything in great detail, without making it feel like an info dump, leaving me with a sense of wonder and a longing to join the Bideshi. That’s an example of excellent world building right there.

The romance is very slow to develop. It’s a bit of enemies-to-lovers, a trope that I really don’t like. That’s the only reason I didn’t give this a five star rating. But the slow pace suited the story. The two protagonists are so very different, everything else would have felt unrealistic to me. And I’m always thrilled when an author actually takes the time to develop a real romance, and doesn’t take the easy option of insta-love. Sex did happen, too, but it wasn’t explicit, and that kinda fit the story as well. The romance part was very balanced with the rest of the plot.

At times I wasn’t too sure if I like Lochlan, but he always won me over. Ultimately, I think I really like him, his character just takes a bit of getting used to. Adam, on the other hand, was somehow immediately likeable.

“Line and Orbit” does get a bit violent at times, so beware. Personally, I think fantasy isn’t really fantasy when you don’t get at least one battle scene and this book didn’t disappoint. I liked the spaceship battles, it’s not something I’ve read before.

Long story short: If you like a mix of romance, fantasy and sci-fi, you should read “Line and Orbit”.

I couldn’t help comparing this book to the truly epic “Song of the Navigator” by Astrid Amara. While “Line and Orbit” wasn’t quite as epically awesome, I can definitely recommend this to fans of “Song of the Navigator”.

I’m definitely going to read the rest of the series. I really enjoyed this.

Cover: I really like the cover by Kanaxa. It looks delightfully mysterious and the planets fit with the overall theme of the book.

Sales Links:  Samhain Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 325 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 1619212196 (ISBN13: 9781619212190)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL
SeriesRoot Code #1

Series: Book 1 of the Root Code Series

An Ali Review: Keys (City of Keys #1) by Amber Kell and narrator Derrick McClain (audiobook)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
KeysAUDMy name is Octavius Septimus Stalk, but my friends call me Oss. I live in the City of Keys, a town of gears, keys, locks, and wonder. Our forefathers banished magic long ago, bolted the doors and locked everything up tight to keep people out and the town’s secrets in. Four Lock Lords control what information is left, and everyone else is left struggling to survive.

Despite what Thorne, my naïve lover, thinks, I was an orphan, but not a victim. When I walked the streets at the age of twelve, I learned fast where to steal the best food, how to use my daggers, and where to hide my would-be attackers’ bodies. No one suspected me of such violence. No one knew then or now that I have magic inside me.

Now, power hungry men intend to release the magic for their own benefit—at the expense of the rest of the city. We will stop them, even if Thorne must battle his own kin, even if I must reveal my hidden talents and the role I seem destined to play.
 
I really loved the world this author created.  It’s a fantasy world where all locks are controlled by the Key Lords and key keepers.  As a result they control the entire city and it has created a dramatic separation between the rich and the poor.  Oss and Thorne are on opposite sides of this divide yet still love each other.  The imagery was well done and I could envision the shop owners waiting every morning for a key keeper to arrive to unlock their business.  The two main characters were enjoyable and I liked both of them.  I also really liked that they were an established couple when the story begins.  There was also a host of side characters that were interesting and the set up for the next two books was good.  My only real complaint is there are many parts, especially at the beginning, where the prose is very purple.  It is ridiculously flowery and overly descriptive.  I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like the book because of that but I ended up liking the world enough to over look it.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
 
I did this on audio and I enjoyed the narrator a lot.  I thought he did a good job on all the voices and I will probably do the next one on audio also.
 
Cover by Anne CainI like the cover a lot.  It’s simple, yet it captures the mood and feel of the story.  

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | iTunes | Audible | Amazon

Book Details:

Narrator Derrick McClain
Length 6 hours and 48 minutes
Categories: Audiobooks,Amber Kell, City of Keys by Amber Kell
Book Type Audiobook
Other Formats :eBook,Paperback

A Stella Review: Out of the Past by Sean Michael

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RATING  3,75 out of 5 stars

Out of the PastTen years after a terrible car accident left carpenter Andy Johnson dead, Steven Billings has yet to move on. Though he’s put aside his art to run his family’s foundation—just like his parents always wanted—Steven has never been able to put Andy and the love they shared behind him.

Except Andy’s not dead. And after a long, agonizing recovery—alone—Andy has come to hate Steven, believing Steven abandoned him when things got tough. When a chance encounter at a bar throws them back together again, it’s like the dead have come back to life and the past has come back to haunt them both.

Sean Michael is one of my favourite authors, I’m not sure how I missed Out of the Past the first time it was released. So when I saw this second edition, the blurb and the cover caught my interest. I’m a sucker for second chance at love, I had to have it.

The story is very simple. Steven spent the last ten year mourning the love of his life Andy, killed by a terrible incident. He tried to move on but it was impossible, he still comes back to Andy grave each week. One night he walks in a pub and he is soon attracted to a man who then reveals to be Andy, his (supposed) dead lover. How is it possible? Steven buried his lover. Is there someone who is playing with his grief? Or maybe he was just betrayed by the most important person in his life.

What did really happen? Most of all can they overcome the hurt of the loss and be together again?

I’ll be honest, there isn’t a lot of development in the story, apart from knowing they will of course get their own HEA. They met, explanations were given, they were still in love with each other. There were a lot of sex scenes, hot and well done like only Sean can write. Nonetheless I liked this novellas because it was light and emotional too, sexy and well written, the main characters were delined just enough to let us know the important things. It was right, not overdone, not lacking. In a way I appreciated it wasn’t different and perhaps too heavy as it could have been if the author had chosen another writing path.

Out of the Past is a second chance at love story, made of hurt and loss, determination and hope to build a future who was took away from two men deeply in love after ten years of hell. I feel to recommend it.

The COVER ART by MelodyA. Pond is really great, I especially like the colors.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 2nd Edition, 60 pages
Published January 20th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 10th 2008)
Original Title Arcana: Out of the Past
ISBN 1615813918 (ISBN13: 9781615813919)
Edition Language English

A Jeri Review: Catch a Tiger by the Tail (THIRDS #6) by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Catch a Tiger by the TailCalvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.

As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.

Well, Charlie Cochet has done it yet again. Quite often when there is a series of books, the more books there are, the more the quality and story lines wane. Not so in this, the 6th book of the THIRDS series.

The first four books were based around Dex and Sloane, the fifth book was Ash and Cael. This installment brings us the budding romance between work partners and best friends Calvin and Hobbs (yes, Calvin and Hobbs).

Calvin- a human agent for THIRDS, and Hobbs- his Therian THIRDS partner have been inseparable since childhood. Although obviously smaller and not as strong, Calvin always had Hobbs’ back. Hobbs is plagued with debilitating anxiety and selective mutism. Calvin is one of only two people he can talk to; the other being one of his brothers.

Working so closely together at THIRDS and watching their teammates couple up, the lines between friends and more than friends begins to blur. But both are terrified of losing the friendship which has gotten them through some tough things in life.

The budding, tentative romance between the two is beautiful. They already love each other so much and to see that love grow into romantic love is swoon worthy. They don’t jump into it though, as they are unsure of how to act and behave with this new thing between them. Add in severe anxiety, a ridiculously dangerous job and family that doesn’t always understand and you have a great engaging story that keeps you turning the pages.

One of the great things about this series is that they aren’t just romance and sex. They are great stories in a world that is both very different and very similar to the one we live in.

It is nearly impossible for me to give a 5 star review and the reason this book gets 4 ½ instead of 5 is that so many of the chapters ended virtually the same way- or with the same thoughts. It got a bit tedious as I didn’t need to be reminded of the sentiment constantly. There is also a cliff hanger that makes you want to throw your kindle across the room, but them run to get it and start the book over again.

The cover by L.C. Chase is in the same vein as pervious, but with Calvin front and center with Hobbs’ back behind him- which speaks to not only Hobbs’ anxiety but also to them always having each other’s backs.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769099
Edition LanguageEnglish

Thirds Series can be found here.

Its Never Too Late To Begin Again with ‘Whistle Blower’ by Dev Bentham (excerpt and giveaway)

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WhistleBlowerFS

Whistle Blower by Dev Bentham
Release Date: February 5, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Blurb

Money can’t buy happiness. Jacob Nussbaum knows this better than anyone. He’s a corporate lawyer deep inside a huge New York firm, where he works overtime, sacrifices any chance at a personal life, and has been selling his soul for years. With a secretary as his only friend, he trudges on, until his whole world is blown apart by a manila envelope of photos—evidence that one of the firm’s partners is the dirtiest lawyer in one hell of a filthy business.

In search of the truth, Jacob travels to a small northern Wisconsin fishing resort. There he meets Ben Anderson, a brutally lonely man, who knocks him off his feet. Ben prompts Jacob to reevaluate his life. He’s a dozen years older than Jacob, still recovering from the death of his long time love, and doesn’t want to leave anyone a widower. But a jaded New Yorker on a soul-searching mission might be just the man to convince the grieving Ben that it’s never too late to begin again.

 

Pages or Words: 214 pages
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

Ben got waylaid by a bunch of little things, so it took him longer than he’d expected to get back to the dock for Nussbaum’s—Jacob’s rowing lesson. As Ben approached the dock, Jacob was facing away, staring out over the lake. Which was good, since he was naked except for a skim of bright red Lycra that barely covered his ass. And what an ass. What a body in general. It had been a long time since Ben had seen a muscular olive-skinned back on which dark hair grew in such fascinating patterns. Manny had a back like that. Ben had loved to run his tongue along the thin lines of fur along his lower back. Manny hadn’t been hairy, really, just never quite naked. Jacob had that same look, except he was younger, stronger, and better built.

Feeling uncomfortable with that comparison, Ben tore his eyes away from Jacob’s body. Aside from leaving him feeling unfaithful to Manny’s memory, this was neither the time nor the place and, in all probability, not the man to indulge that kind of fantasy. Ben cleared his throat, and Jacob turned around. Jesus. Who’d have thought under all those clothes, there’d be this—high definition, perfect tone, and all that gorgeous skin. Ben forced himself to meet Jacob’s eyes. He reached into the boathouse, pulled out one of the clean tee shirts he kept for changing after rowing, and handed it to Jacob.

“It’s easy to get sunburned out here.” For the love of God, he had to cover up the guy if he was going to teach him anything, other than…. He cleared his throat again. “The beginner scull is up here.” He walked back up the dock to the boat rack, yelling at himself the whole way for unprofessional thoughts.

As Ben uncovered the practice scull, he was hit by an unexpected wave of memory. Manny had bought it for him their first summer in the Northwoods. It had taken Ben two years to outgrow the added stability and another to decide to try Manny’s MAAS. He ran a finger over the fiberglass patch from when he’d run the boat into the shore. Manny, from his own scull twenty feet away, had admonished, “Never get in a fight with a rock. The rock always wins.”

From behind him, Jacob asked, “Need any help?”

Ben straightened and walked to the far side of the boat. “Get the stern, would you?”

Jacob picked up his side of the boat, and in a monkey-see-monkey-do motion, lifted it onto his shoulder. Ben turned around, settling the bow onto his left shoulder, and led the way back down to the dock. On three they flipped the scull into the water. Ben squatted beside the boat, pointing and describing the various parts until he felt comfortable enough in his role as teacher that he could glance over at Jacob, who knelt beside him. Jacob was focused on the boat, taking in Ben’s instructions. Ben exhaled. Jacob covered up and concentrating on the boat was easier to deal with than he was as a just-about-naked man basking in the sun at the end of the dock.

Ben noticed Jacob’s shoes for the first time. No shorts, no water shoes. Evidently Mr. Nussbaum had been expecting an entirely different resort vacation, probably involving mai tais on the beach and plenty of bikini-clad young women. If he tipped over in the scull, which he was going to do, everyone did when they were starting out, those shoes would take a long time to dry. Ben had an extra pair of water shoes. Maybe they’d fit.

“What size feet do you have?” he asked.

Jacob glanced up. “Ten. Why? Does it matter for the stirrups?”

Of course he wore tens, because otherwise the physical comparison wouldn’t be perfect. “Your shoes will be awkward as hell in the stirrups. You need something lighter and better in the water. Don’t worry. I’ve got some you can borrow.”

Jacob wouldn’t fit in Ben’s nine and a halfs, but Manny’s old tens were still where they’d always been, on the top shelf in the boathouse. Ben found them. He brushed off the dust and cobwebs. The shoes weren’t sacred, and it wasn’t disloyal to let Jacob wear them. They were just old water shoes with cracks in the soles. Ben grabbed a pair of oars and stepped back onto the dock, dropping the shoes by Jacob. “Try these. I’ll get the oars set up.”

Ben fixed each oar in its oarlock, concentrating hard so he wouldn’t have to watch another man put on Manny’s shoes. Then he set about teaching Jacob Nussbaum the rudiments of rowing.

Buy the book: 

Dreamspinner Press | AmazonKobo  |ARe |  Barnes & Noble

Meet the author:
Dev Bentham writes soulful m/m romance. Her characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know what they are missing, but whose lives are transformed by true love.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, KathyMac Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Happily Ever Chapter, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Book Lovers 4Ever, A.M. Leibowitz, The Hat Party, Dawn’s Reading Nook, The Jena Wade, Andrew Q. Gordon, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Louise Lyons, Velvet Panic, Inked Rainbow Reads, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, Unquietly Me, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Making It Happen, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Molly Lolly, 3 Chicks After Dark, Alpha Book Club,

Jessie G. Books, My Fiction Nook, Havan Fellows, V’s Reads, Kiki’s Kinky Picks, Divine Magazine, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Kirsty Loves Books

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A signed paperback copy of Nobody’s Home OR an ebook, reader’s choice, from Dev’s backlist which can be found at http://www.devbentham.com.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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